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Helium grade (pct) - Minimum for aluminum?

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Helium grade (pct) - Minimum for aluminum?

Postby bowleggid » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:36 am

I'm told that the welding suppliers in Colorado (Denver - North) sell "industrial" grade helium, which is also balloon grade, at 99.5% He. Is this pure enough for use with aluminum?? -- I installed a Y on my Square Wave & am "sneaking a little in" like Roy & Jody do -- floating the ball -- adding a small amount to Argon to get the enhancing effects of He.
I've only used UHP Helium so far - & I love what it does for welding aluminum - but it appears to be much more difficult to find. What is the minimum acceptable percentage of helium purity for welding aluminum in this manner -- or if I wanted to use only He as a shielding gas (no Ar) -- what's the minimum purity?
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Re: Helium grade (pct) - Minimum for aluminum?

Postby pgk » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:00 pm

I would just get the industrial grade He and you will probably find that you will want to mix Argon with it, pure Helium is much harder to establish a arc than say a 50-50 mix. I have a smith mixer and usually set mine from 25-he to 75-Ar or 30-he to 70-Ar. My local welding supply contact told me that the only difference between UHP and industrial grade Helium is they have to verify the contents and purity of UHP because of the fact that it is also used in the medical field.

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Re: Helium grade (pct) - Minimum for aluminum?

Postby LtBadd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:04 pm


Insert witty, sarcastic, or philosophical remark here.
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Re: Helium grade (pct) - Minimum for aluminum?

Postby cptjackm » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:31 am

Thanks for that HE link, very helpful.
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Re: Helium grade (pct) - Minimum for aluminum?

Postby Oscar » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:16 pm

Yea, I was about to say, 99.5% would be pretty low indeed for industrial. I had always read 99.995% is industrial, which is 50ppm impurities.
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