helium as shielding gas

I got a Millermatic 170 a few months ago and I ran out of a bottle of Argon/CO2 gas in the middle of building something. I finished up the project without gas and the welds looked horrible. I didn't think if it then but I have a tank of helium in the garage that I used for filling balloons and havn't got around to returning the tank. There's still quite a bit of helium left. Could helium be used? What would the differences be? I'd be welding steel 1/4" or less, mostly angle iron, rebar and square tubing.

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Ballon Helium should have at least 16% O2 preventing dummy hurting themself when breathing baloon Helium. 16% O2 is too much for shielding gas.

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R. Duncan

Probably a little lacking on strength, too...

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Rich Jones

Straight helium would be a bit HOT for a MIG, weld. I have never tried it with MIG. With TIG it is an extremely hot arc, but hard to initiate.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

Mark wrote: (clip) I finished up the project without gas and the welds looked horrible. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ In case there is ever a next time, why not put a small spool of flux core on the shelf?

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Leo Lichtman

snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Mark) spluttered in news: snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com:

I snagged a soft-drink CO² bottle at a garage sale. That's a good backup too.

Reply to
Greg M

Helium is even more inert than CO2/ argon, the best way to find out is to try it on some scrap. Chemically, it is a great shield, but it might not carry away heat as efficiently. Let us know what happens.-Jitney

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