TIG and Heliarc

Are they the same thing?
Reply to
Jim Stewart
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Thanks. I take it that Heliarc is a trademark and that led the other manufacturers to come up with a generic name for the process.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
Yes.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Isn't the exception being that TIG in general most often uses argon, while Heliarc specifically uses helium, for welding aluminum?
Tim
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Reply to
Tim Williams
Heliarc was the first trademarked name for TIG welding. The process was invented durring World War 2 by Northrup Aircraft. After the war it was declassified and licensed to Linde. They named it Heliarc because it used Helium as a Shielding gas. it was originally developed as a DCEP process for welding magnesium for aircraft parts. Later it was adapted to aluminum, and DCEN for Steel and Stainless steel. In the early 50's they learned that they could use AC for magnesium and aluminum if they stabilized the arc with a constant high frequency arc added to the normal output. Then they discovered a cheap commercial process for generating argon, and it soon replaced Helium as the most common shielding gas. Helium is still used but usually as a mix gas with Argon.
BTW Linde did trademark the name "Argonarc", and luckily nobody ever used it. Linde became LTEC which got bought by ESAB who now use the name Heliarc for their line of TIG welding machines.
Amazing the stuff knocking around in my head.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
No, in general use the terms are fully interchangable, and are used for all forms of gtaw regardless of shielding gas . Heliarc is becoming a seldom used term, but it still prevails in some locations and some trades. It's kind of a "pop" vs. "soda" thing if that makes any sense to you.
JTMcC.
Reply to
JTMcC
Great history. I appreciate you taking the time to write it out. The welding book that brought up this question mentioned that argon was better than helium because of the way it ionized and, for lack of better understanding, pulls heat out of the arc. Do I have this right?
Reply to
Jim Stewart
(snip)
Argon is the best general gas for TIG, but Helium is an invaluable tool. I have a tank of each on my TIG and mix a little helium into my argon when I need, greater penetration, or better cleaning. Dirty old aluminum is a perfect example where better cleaning is need, and heavy aluminum really benefits from the heat boost that helium give.
Copper is another metal that really benefits from helium mix gasses. Copper transfers heat so fast that you really need the greater heat of helium to make it weldable. When you get to heavy copper, like thicker than 1/8", you really want a high helium mix with only a little argon.
The problem with pure Helium is that it is difficult to get the arc started. By mixing it with argon you get much easier arc starts, and still retain the heat boost. The other downsides of helium are cost, and it's ability to leak through the tiniest holes.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Fella I worked with years ago said he used pure Nitrogen for ALL his welding cuz that's what they used in the Navy.
Any truth to that one ?
Reply to
Fh
Nitrogen has been used as a shielding gas for MIG, but not much anymore.
It is still commonly used as a purge gas with TIG. It can't be used as a shielding gas for TIG, only argon and helium.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

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