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Helium

Helium is used as an inert-gas atmosphere for welding metals such as aluminum; in rocket propulsion (to pressurize fuel tanks, especially those for liquid hydrogen, because only helium is still a gas at liquid-hydrogen temperature); in meteorology and other lifting applications (as a lifting gas for instrument-carrying balloons); in cryogenics (as a coolant because liquid helium is the coldest substance); and in high-pressure breathing operations (mixed with oxygen, as in scuba diving and caisson work, especially because of its low solubility in the bloodstream).

 

Helium is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic, no-flammable inert gas with the symbol He on the periodical table. Its many uses include:

  •  Shielding gas in arc welding
  •  Lifting gas for balloons
  • Leak detection (cryogenic tanks)
  • Rocketry for propulsion
  • Refrigeration

Where does Helium come from?

Most of the helium comes from natural gas deposits. Despite being the most common element in the universe, helium is quite rare on the earth. Helium is generated deep underground through the natural radioactive decay of elements such as uranium and thorium. This process may take ages (centuries to millennia) to form helium. After its formation, helium seeps through the earth’s crust to get trapped in pockets of natural gas. It is then extracted from these pockets by using specialized equipment. Being lighter than air, helium can overcome gravity and escape the earth to reach outer space. Thus, helium sources are considered as nonreplenishable or nonrenewable sources, as it is difficult to recycle helium.

Helium Grades Available:

  • Industrial Helium
  • Specialty gas helium available with minimum specs
  • Zero Helium
  • Grade 4.8 Helium
  • Grade 5.0 Helium

Balloon Fill Chart

Approximate Cylinder Height Approximate Cylinder Weight Cubic Feet of Gas Will Inflate No. 9″ Balloons Will Inflate No. 11″ Balloons Will Inflate No. 14″ Balloons
56″ 110 lbs. 219 800 430 215
48″ 70 lbs. 110 350 210 105
25″ 25 lbs. 52 150 90 45