Praxair's New Stargon® SS Shielding Gas Blend Delivers Top Quality Welds for Stainless Steel

Praxair's New Stargon® Shielding Gas Blend Delivers Top Quality Welds for Stainless Steel

May 05, 2003

DANBURY, Conn., May 5, 2003 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) today announced the launch of its patented Stargon® SS shielding gas blend, a carefully controlled mixture of argon, carbon dioxide and nitrogen that is designed for joining a wide variety of stainless steels under the most challenging conditions.

"Praxair's new Stargon SS blend is an universal shielding gas for economical and convenient stainless steel welding. It is an important addition to Praxair's successful Star family of shielding gases, which also includes Praxair's StarGold® blends for general fabrication of mild steel, Praxair's RoboStar® blends for robotic welding, and others," said Janet Coffman, vice-president of marketing for Praxair Distribution, Inc., a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. "Its unique formulation makes it well-suited for all-position welding and it can be used with a full range of metal transfers, such as short circuiting, pulsed and conventional spray," Coffman continued.

With its controlled carbon dioxide content, the Stargon SS gas blend can be utilized in most austenitic stainless steel applications, particularly where weld metal carbon control is required. The addition of nitrogen enhances arc performance by increasing its stability, improves weld penetration and reduces distortion in the welded part. It also assists in maintaining weld metal nitrogen levels for materials such as duplex stainless steels, where chemistry control is critical to maintaining micro-structural integrity and increased corrosion resistance.

"To date, our customers report that the Stargon SS blend reduces spatter and fume, eliminates residual slag, increases welder productivity, decreases over welding and increases travel speeds, when compared to other commonly used blends," commented John Hickl, Praxair Distribution’s metal fabrication marketing manager. "It also offers cost savings when compared with the high-helium content mixtures currently used today."

With consistency at every pressure throughout the application process, the Stargon SS blend eliminates residual gas waste from stratification, thereby reducing costs.  This consistent and homogeneous blend is the result of Praxair's Starblend™ gas mixing system, designed specifically for argon-based blends that use carbon dioxide.

"This new shielding gas blend reinforces Praxair’s leading position as a total solutions, service-based provider, assisting our customers in controlling and reducing manufacturing costs," said Hickl. "Our productivity specialists use Praxair’s exclusive StarSolver® Productivity Enhancement Program to accurately and systematically analyze customers' different types of welding and cutting processes, including robotics and laser applications. And where appropriate, we recommend process changes to improve their production performance," he added. "This is especially important for assessing the impact of labor and overhead, which account for 85 percent of overall welding costs."

Praxair Distribution, Inc. and its subsidiaries and distributors deliver a large array of industrial and specialty gases, equipment and supplies, technical expertise, and services to thousands of customers in the United States and Canada. With hundreds of locations throughout North America, Praxair provides differentiated product and service offerings that help customers achieve their objectives faster, better and at lower total cost. For more information on Praxair's offerings to the metal fabrication industry, visit www. praxair .com/metalfab.

Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2002 sales of $5.1 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.

Contact
Media Contact:
Jason Stewart

Email: jason_stewart@praxair.com

Phone: 1-203-837-2448

Investor Relations Contact:
Kelcey Hoyt

Email: kelcey_hoyt@praxair.com

Phone: 1-203-837-2118