What is Heliarc Welding – Principle, Machine, Use, Cost, Difference Between TIG and Heliarc Welding?


Heliarc Welding is an important arc welding process used in various industries. Compared with other arc welding techniques, Heliarc offers higher welding quality and efficiency. This article aims to provide an overview of Heliarc, including its concept, working principle, advantages, applications, and how it differs from other welding methods. Key topics such as welding characteristics, equipments, and similarities/differences between Heliarc and other welding techniques will be discussed in detail with clear explanations.

Heliarc Welding Definition & History – What is Heliarc Welding?

Heliarc welding, also known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), is a welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The term “Heliarc” is a brand name that has become synonymous with the TIG welding process, much the same way “Kleenex” has with tissues. The name “Heliarc” comes from Helium (one of the potential shielding gases used in the process) and Arc (referring to the electric arc that provides the heat).

In Heliarc welding, an electric arc is created between the tungsten electrode and the workpiece. The arc generates intense heat, which melts the base metal and forms a weld pool. The weld pool is protected from atmospheric contamination by an inert gas, typically argon or helium, which is fed through a nozzle surrounding the electrode.

Heliarc Welding Work Principle – How the Heliarc Welding Process Works?

Here’s a brief rundown of how the process works:

Heliarc Welding Machine – What are the Equipment for Heliarc Welding?

A Heliarc welding machine, also known as a gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding machine, is a specialized equipment used for the Heliarc welding process. It consists of several key components that enable the welding operation. Here are the main components of a typical Heliarc welding machine:

When selecting a Heliarc welding machine, it is important to consider factors such as the desired welding output, the types of materials to be welded, the required welding parameters, and the budget. It is recommended to consult with welding equipment suppliers or professionals to choose a machine that best suits your specific welding needs.

Heliarc Welding Features – What are the Cons & Pros of Heliarc Welding?

Heliarc Welding offers several advantages and disadvantages. Here are some key features of Heliarc welding:

Advantages of Heliarc Welding:

Disadvantages of Heliarc Welding:

Despite these disadvantages, Heliarc welding remains a popular choice in various industries where precise and high-quality welds are required, such as aerospace, automotive, and electronics. With proper training and equipment, skilled welders can overcome the limitations and utilize the advantages of Heliarc welding effectively.

Heliarc Welding Applications – What is Heliarc Welding Used For?

Heliarc welding is a versatile welding method that finds applications in various industries. Here are some common applications of heliarc welding:

Art and Sculpture: Heliarc welding is also used in artistic applications, such as creating sculptures and metal artwork. The ability to achieve intricate and precise welds allows artists to bring their creative visions to life.

Heliarc vs. TIG Welding – What is the Difference Between TIG and Heliarc Welding?

There’s actually no difference between TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding and Heliarc welding. The two terms both refer to the same welding process, which is officially known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) in the American Welding Society nomenclature.

The term “Heliarc” welding was an early trade name coined by the ESAB Group, who developed the process. It’s derived from the words “Helium” (which was the original shielding gas used) and “Arc” (referring to the electric arc created by the tungsten electrode). “TIG” welding, on the other hand, gets its name from the process itself — it uses a tungsten electrode and an inert gas for shielding.

So, whether you hear the process called TIG welding, Heliarc welding, or GTAW, they’re all referring to the same thing: a welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to heat the base metal, while a shield of inert gas protects the weld area from atmospheric contamination.

Differences between Heliarc Welding and other Welding

Compared to other arc welding techniques like Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), GTAW offers better weld quality, penetration and appearance for thin materials. Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) has higher deposition rate but GTAW provides better control of weld profile and penetration. Laser beam welding delivers deeper penetration but is more expensive than GTAW. Plasma arc welding is faster than GTAW but offers less control and versatility. Overall, GTAW remains useful for its balance of quality, productivity and cost.

Heliarc Welding Cost – How Much Does Heliarc Welding Cost?

The cost of Heliarc welding (also known as TIG or GTAW welding) can depend on several factors, including the complexity of the project, the materials being used, labor rates, and your geographic location.

On average, typical hourly heliarc welding labor rates can range from $100-250/hour depending on the above factors. Very simple/small jobs may cost $75-150 total. Complex projects requiring specialized equipment and expertise could cost $300-1000+ per hour of welder time. Material and consumable costs also factor in on top of labor. So a rough estimate for general heliarc welding costs is $75-500 per hour depending on the specific job requirements and materials used. Larger industrial projects may run $1000+/hour or more.

Heliarc Welding Aluminum – What Gas to Heliarc Welding Aluminum?

Heliarc welding is commonly used for welding aluminum due to its precision and control, which can yield high-quality welds even with aluminum’s relatively high thermal conductivity and low melting point.

As for the shielding gas used when Heliarc welding aluminum, the most common choice is pure argon. Argon provides good cleaning action, a smooth and stable arc, and deep penetration.

Heliarc Welding remains one of the most important arc welding processes in industrial manufacturing due to its flexibility, quality and cost-effectiveness. Future development is expected in the area of advanced automation and process control using Industry 4.0 technologies.