What is Heliarc Welding

By Joe Stephens •  Updated: 09/14/19 •  4 min read

what is heliarc welding

As many welders know, there are well over sixty different welding processes at their disposal. Even though welding is just simply the joining of metals, each process varies from one another. Welding processes vary depending on the types of pressure, equipment, and heat used. So what is Heliarc Welding?

Heliarc Welding

Heliarc, which is also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) or more popular Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, was perfected in 1941 by Russell Meredith. For the welding process, a welder will make an arc in between the base metal and the tungsten electrode (the non-consumable). A weld pool will form upon which the welder will begin to hand feed a filler metal.

While this process is being performed the tungsten electrode and weld pool are being protected from oxygen contamination by an inert shielding gas. The inert shielding gas is just argon or helium and when helium is used it is known as Heliarc Welding. All of this results in a slag-free weld that has the same corrosion properties as the parent metal.

When To Use Heliarc Welding

Now you might be asking yourself “when is it more appropriate to use the TIG welding process?”. Well, that mostly depends on the type of job you’re working. To being with, TIG welding is harder than most other processes like MIG welding. TIG welding needs a lot more control than other processes since you have to focus on things like timing, electric current, heat, and pressure. It’s this reason that TIG welding is often best left to a computer numerically controlled welding machine.

When deciding to use TIG welding it is important to pay attention to the thickness of the two metals that you are joining. Thicker metals are harder to weld together by just heating them until they weld together. The thicker they are the more heat and energy are needed to get them to the melting point. This can make TIG welding a lot less efficient or cause heat stress cracking. With heat stress cracking you could compromise the integrity of the weld and/or it’s corrosive resistance. With these points, it is obvious that Heliarc or TIG welding is best for joining thinner metals.

One of the best things about TIG welding though is the amount of control and precision you are given. The welder is given the ability to use a remote control switch or footswitch to control the heat and amperage. The actual TIG welder is also thinner giving welders more control. With all these, welders using the TIG welding process can achieve excellent precision and more detailed welds. Which is something all welders want.

Heliarc Welding Career Opportunities

Just like all other welding processes, Heliarc welding offers numerous high-paying welding jobs. Although you will need the education, proper certificates, and experience, which you can find at any good welding school. Here are some of the amazing job opportunities you can find if you specialize in TIG welding.

  • Aircraft Welding: If you can manage to get a job as an aircraft welding, you’ve definitely lucked out. This job does require the highest of standards since you’ll be working on actual airplanes.
  • Pipeline Welding: One of the more common jobs, it still requires welders with high skills and can be quite challenging.
  • NASCAR Welder: This is one that I’m sure will stick out to most welders. Although getting a job with NASCAR will be quite difficult since most people will jump at any openings.
  • Structural Welding: Structural welding is another welding job that is common to have. It requires less experience but is still very demanding.

Overall TIG welding is a popular welding process that can lead to amazing opportunities. Also, as with all welding, it is extremely important to take the proper safety measures. Such as finding the best welding helmet to use, wearing safety gloves, and other safety gear.

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Joe Stephens

Joey has over 20 years of experience working in the welding industry and now works with providing readers with intensive reviews. Joey has also self-published an e-book and has written countless articles regarding welding information and safety.