Neutral gases are often called inert gases, even this is not correct. "Inert" comes from the Latin, and means stagnant and non-reactive. That means that these gases do not initiate chemical reactions by themselves.
Attention: If inert gases are used as a pressure medium, care must be taken to ensure adequate ventilation of the affected workplaces, otherwise it can be very dangerous for people (danger of suffocation)!
Ambient air consists of about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Nitrogen is an inert gas and does not react under normal conditions.
Can Festo products also be operated with pure nitrogen (100%)?
If the following parameters are observed, our products can be operated with pure nitrogen (100%) as the pressure medium without any significant reduction in service life.
- The nitrogen used must be in a gaseous state
- With the values given in the data sheet, the operating pressure, operating temperature and quality (particles, humidity, oil content), must be within the specification for compressed air.
Helium (He), Neon (Ne), Argon (Ar), Xenon (Xe)
Noble gases do not undergo any chemical reactions and can be used as operating medium. Since helium molecules are very "small" and lighter than air (balloon gas), this gas diffuses through almost all materials, causing leakage.
Due to the high diffusion rate of helium and possibly also of neon in polyethylene, this must be taken into account.
Carbon dioxide is the combustion product from carbon with the element symbol CO2, and is the typical gas exhaled by humans. It is also very slow to react and can be used as a pressure medium. No problems will occur under Festo standard conditions. In some circumstances, carbon dioxide can diffuse into elastomers and, at excessive pressure fluctuations, destroy the material.
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