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Old 03-21-2010, 05:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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MIG welding with Helium??

Ok, I just picked up a 125 bottle at the local swap meet that was used for helium balloons... I asked the local welding gas shop if I could use the bottle for Ar/CO2 and they said sure, so I bought it... What I did not know, until i picked it up, was that it is over 1/2 full of helium... Since helium is an inert gas, I wondered if I could MIG weld with it... I searched the google and gained myself some knowledge. So, Helium isn't used alone because it is thinner than air therefore could cause erratic arc and encourage spatter... I am wondering if a high rate of gas would eliminate this issue... The He in the tank is free, so I wouldn't care about waste... If it is just not feasible, I will fill the tank the rest of the way with Argon and use a mixture somewhere between 50%-75% He/Ar, which from what I read is very useful for welding steel... Just wondering, thanks...
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just empty it out. There is a ton of research that went into figuring out what gas goes to what. Helium tri mix is good for stainless, but pure helium will probably act funny. If the helium was included in the deal for the bottle just find a birthday party and donate the gas to there balloons so you don't make a mess.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, thats probably a good idea...
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You could walk around for a few days talking funny.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Im going to talk with the Airmix guys here before I release it into the atmosphere...

Blurb from airproducts.com:

"Helium offers advantages for Gas Metal and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding -
From the manufacture of lawn chairs to tank trucks, from boats to rocket ships, gas metal arc welding (MIG) or gas tungsten arc welding (TIG) applications that can benefit from using helium as a shielding gas. Compared to pure argon, helium can provide:

Better shielding gas coverage
Higher travel speeds
Greater weld penetration of thick metals and metals with high thermal conductivity such as aluminum and copper
Increased deposition without preheating
Improved performance over mild contamination
Flatter surfaces for reduced cleanup
Greater safety with reduced fume and spatter"
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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lol.. no it wont work. yes people use helium as sheilding gas. ie. tig aluminum,, makes the arc hotter... the problem is theres a difference in welding helium and balloon helium,, the ballon helium has moisture in it, which could cause hydrogen pockets in the weld (porosity)... just check to see what a bottle of welding helium is priced vs a bottle of baloon helium.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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No, even if it was possible to MIG weld with 100%He (which it is not to the best of my knowledge) You don't have a bottle of 100% He. The stuff they use to fill balloons with is mixed with atmosphere so kids don't suffocate on it when they breathe it in.

Pure He is sometimes used by itself, but always in high-speed automated welding processes. Even if it was pure it wouldn't properly stabilize the arc and your welds would come out very cold and ropey, if you could make any welds at all.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but as far as welding goes its worthless. But its entertainment value is still very high.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I joke around a lot so it is hard for people to take me serious as it is... If I were to walk around taking like one of the chipmunks that would totally ruin me...

Didnt realize there was a difference in the weling helium tanks vs. balloon helium tanks... Thanks... Atmosphere - here it goes...
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Holy shit, I have not laughed like that in years... Two almost 30yo men running around talking like the dwarfs on wizard of oz...

No wonder my wife just looks at me and rolls her eyes...

Ok, back to work... The steel aint gonna cut itself...
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