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What is Heliarc® Welding?

By Christy Bieber
Updated May 17, 2024
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Heliarc® welding is a form of welding introduced and perfected in the 1940s. The reason the welding process is referred to by this name is because the welding process requires the presence of two substances. These substances are helium, an inert gas that is used for the shielding of the weld, and an arc that is generated through the implementation of a tungsten electrode. The electrode receives a constant power signal from the welding machine.

The process by which gas was used along with an electrical current to create an arc across two materials was first introduced in the 1930s. Though primitive, gas welding proved to be an effective means of fusing two metal items together. It created a much stronger bond than most fastening or connecting methods of the time.

The process of Heliarc® welding is also widely referred to as TIG welding, for tungsten inert gas, or as GTAW, for gas tungsten arc welding. The original process had its problems, but over the course of time became perfected as the primary means of joining metals. Today, this style of welding is the most common method of welding used when the materials being fused together are hardened ones, such as stainless steel.

The use of helium gas in Heliarc® welding is done to shield the weld area. This is necessary to keep both the electrode and the arc compressed into one direct point of contact. This creates an intense heat.

In some cases, a filler material is used to fill open spaces between the materials being welded together. Heliarc® welding equipment has, however, come a long way since its inception and because of the advancements that have been made it doesn’t often require any form of filler. As a result, the process in which TIG welding is carried out is a more slow and precise process than most other forms of welding. The technique behind the process takes much longer for some welders to learn.

The versatility of the Heliarc® welding process is one of the biggest contributors in the popularity of that specific welding process. The quality and durability of the weld compared to others is another. Since Heliarc® welding fuses two materials together without the use of a filler material in most cases, the bond between the two materials joined through this welding method is stronger than the bond that most other welds can produce.

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Discussion Comments
By anon346028 — On Aug 24, 2013

@Jimmy T: Become an HT in the Navy. It's the best welding education there is. Navy certified welders draw more pay and find work far easier.

It's also the best way to get underwater experience. Repairing hulls in the water draws far more money than any other type of welding out there.

By anon268163 — On May 12, 2012

Structural and tig welding is the best money welding out there. Production mig welding is lower pay.

By Emilski — On Jun 24, 2011

@JimmyT - Yes, I think most welders go to community or technical colleges. I would definitely check it out if it's something you think you would enjoy.

I know there are welding services where I live, and I'm sure there are plenty of other companies that hire welders. Maybe some other posters would know more. Good luck in your search!

By JimmyT — On Jun 21, 2011

Does anyone know how to get a welding job? I have been thinking about switching careers for a few months now. Welding always seemed like it would be exciting.

I know they teach welding classes at the community college near me. Is that how I should start, or are there other options?

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