Praxair's New Helistar® GV Shielding Gas Blend Offers High Quality Welds For Galvanized Steel

Praxair's New Helistar® GV Shielding Gas Blend Offers High Quality Welds For Galvanized Steel

November 12, 2003

DANBURY, Conn., November 12, 2003 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) subsidiary Praxair Distribution, Inc. today announced the launch of its patented HeliStar® GV shielding gas blend, the first of its kind to deliver top quality welding of galvanized or galvannealed steel. The mixture of helium, argon and carbon dioxide increases arc stability and overall arc performance for better weld quality, higher welding productivity and minimal coating loss from the weld area.

"As the newest member of Praxair's successful Star family of shielding gases, HeliStar GV blend is designed to benefit anyone who fabricates carbon steel with a galvanized or galvannealed coating, such as steel sheet, pipe and other parts," said Janet Coffman, vice-president of marketing for Praxair Distribution. "It was created at Praxair’s research and development facility in Tonawanda, New York, in response to our customers’ growing need for a unique formulation that reduces spatter and post-weld cleanup, improves bead appearance and, ultimately, helps control and reduce costs in the manufacture of galvanized steel products."

"Our customers are getting excellent results when they use the HeliStar GV blend in the pulsed gas metal arc welding (GMAW) process" noted John Hickl, Praxair Distribution’s metal fabrication marketing manager. “They're also achieving very good results with all types of metal transfer, such as short-circuit and conventional spray, and other types of solid and metal-cored wires.”

Hickl summarizes the advantages of using Praxair’s HeliStar GV blend for these applications as follows:

  • reduced spatter and better weld appearance
  • little or no visible surface porosity 
  • minimal disturbance of coating in the weld area
  • less post-weld cleanup required
  • lower levels of welding fume than with other gas/wire combinations
  • versatile performance that works well in short-circuiting, pulsed and conventional spray GMAW, and for joining most coated and uncoated base materials

In addition, the HeliStar GV shielding gas blend is prepared with Praxair's exclusive Starblend™mixing system, which is designed to ensure blend consistency for gas mixtures that contain argon and/or helium with carbon dioxide. Empty cylinders are completely evacuated and purged before they are filled using Praxair’s patented eductor tube blending system to guarantee a uniform blend.

The activities of Praxair’s metal fabrication research and development laboratory in Tonawanda complement those of its sister facility, Praxair’s Rio Technology Center (Centro de Tecnologia Rio) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This shared information provides faster, more comprehensive solutions for Praxair and its customers worldwide.

Praxair Distribution, Inc. and its subsidiaries and distributors deliver a large array of industrial and specialty gases, equipment, supplies, and services to thousands of customers in the United States and Canada.  With hundreds of locations throughout North America, Praxair provides differentiated product and service offerings that help customers achieve their objectives faster, better and at lower total cost.  For more information on Praxair's offerings to the metal fabrication industry, visit

Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2002 sales of $5.1 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at

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