Star Quality

How Praxair’s HeliStar™ SS Blend Makes Productivity a Beautiful Thing

With its corrosion resistance, low maintenance and luster, stainless steel has become a metal of choice for marine industries, oil and gas, construction, the food industry and more. While stainless steel offers these benefits, it also presents challenges in the welding process that range from controlling weld chemistry to protecting surface appearance and preserving corrosion resistance. For years, manufacturers have turned to A1025 (known as Trimix to many) shielding gas for MIG welding of stainless steel. While it does a great job in the short circuit transfer process, it under performs in what would be faster welding processes, including spray transfer welding and pulsed spray transfer welding. As a result, welders are often stuck between stainless steel and a hard place. To fill the gap between productivity and weld quality, Praxair created HeliStar SS welding blend – a gas with true star power. “A precision blend of argon, helium and carbon dioxide, HeliStar SS welding blend was designed for use as a versatile shielding gas for stainless steel welding applications,” says Drew Bailey, General Sales Manager at Praxair. “In addition to producing good welding characteristics and excellent weld chemistry control, it performs well in short arc welding as well as in faster, more productive welding processes such as spray transfer and pulsed spray transfer modes.”

Typical Uses for HeliStar SS Welding Blend

  • Cylinders and food equipment: joining thin gauge stainless with conventional and pulsed spray transfer
  • Transportation applications: fabrication of stainless components using short circuit transfer such as in rail cars
  • Heavy and thin wall stainless steel tanks
  • Corrosion- and abrasion-resistant materials: joining materials such as Inconel™ 625 and Hasteloy™ C

The Proof is in the Performance

Customers are getting excellent process and end product results using the HeliStar SS blend in their stainless steel welding process. “Its low oxidizing potential assures excellent weld surface appearance and corrosion resistance,” says Jared Ware, President and Owner of Builtware Fabrication, a quality manufacturer of mining equipment, weldments for earth-moving equipment and weldments for various other industries in Olivehurst, California. “The result is a beautiful looking weld that is strong and long-lasting.”

Raise Your Rates

With Praxair’s HeliStar SS welding blend, users report reduced costs, lower reject rates, increased production rates, elimination of surface porosity, better weld quality, fewer weld failures and an improved penetration profile. In fact, by switching from A1025 to HeliStar SS blend, customers have increased their deposition rate by up to 40 percent, providing the ability to put more pounds of
material down per hour. This combined with a superior bead appearance after welding via spray transfer or pulsed spray transfer and the versatility to have different sets of parameters make Praxair’s HeliStar SS welding blend the productivity leader for stainless steel welding.

HeliStar SS welding blend delivers a unique blend of strength, speed and versatility:

  • Provides results comparable to A1025 in short circuit welding
  • Has been shown to outperform Ar/CO2 and Ar/O2 blends in the spray transfer and pulsed spray transfer modes by providing increased travel speeds and reduced distortion
  • Low oxidizing potential makes it perform well on Inconel™, Monel™, copper-nickel and high-alloy steels
  • Produces low weld fume levels with good arc starting characteristics and stability

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