What Is Helium Gas Used For?

Helium is used in arc welding as shield gas because it is not reactive, allowing uniform welding and a high heat transfer, leading to higher working speeds.

On a large scale, helium is extracted from natural gas by fractional distillation, which can contain up to 7% helium. Impurities such as water, and carbon dioxide are removed and under high pressure is cleaned the resulting raw helium containing other elements such as argon, neon, hydrogen and nitrogen. Often the helium is mixed with argon and the mixture is adjusted according to heat, shape and welding speed for the task.

When liquid hydrogen and oxygen are used as rocket fuel, helium is required to clean the fuel tank when it is empty. Astronauts use helium in space rockets to emit residual gases mixed with hydrogen or oxygen in the fuel tank.

The quality of helium – its liquidation point is below absolute zero for any other element on the record – means that it can be used to produce the lowest temperature to function as a refrigerant. Hydrogen rockets use helium to cool overheated parts of satellites in space. Helium is needed at temperatures below 4 Kelvin degrees in its cryogenic state to cool the parts of the satellite.

Helium gas tank is used in a variety of industries as a cooling vapor because it does not solidify at extreme temperatures such as nitrogen. It can become liquid at 450 degrees below zero and is used for things that require low temperatures, such as cooling spacecraft and generating electromagnetic fields to power MRI scanners. Helium is also used in medicine, scientific research, arc welding, cooling gases, coolants for aircraft, nuclear reactors and in cryogenic research, as well as gas leaks detecting.

Helium gas is used as a shield for arc welding, pressure tanks for liquid rockets and supersonic wind tunnels. It is also used as an inert gas for the cultivation of silicon, germanium crystals, titanium and zirconium for the production of gas chromatography because it is inert. Helium is used to flush fuel and oxidants for ground-based equipment and bring pre-cooled liquid hydrogen into spacecraft.

Liquid helium is also an important cryogenic material used for superconductivity research and the production of superconducting magnets. Most people know that helium is used in balloons and party balloons as a lift gas, but they may not address all the ways it is used. Like light air gas or lifting gas, helium can be used to lift gas in airships and balloons.

Helium gas’s properties make it the atmosphere of choice for many metallurgical processes, for the cultivation of perfect crystals and as a chemical vapour for the production of optical fibres, among other things.

Helium gas is used to inflate balloons, scientific balloons and party balloons. Helium is also used as a shielding gas in the atmosphere for welding, metals such as aluminum, rocket propellant, pressure tanks for fuel, liquid hydrogen (only helium gas and liquid hydrogen for temperature), meteorology, lifting gas for instruments – pumped in balloons, cryogenic coolant, liquid helium as a cold substance for high-pressure breathing action mixed with oxygen, diving and caisson work due to its low solubility in the bloodstream. It is used in medicine, in scientific research, in bubble blowing, in party balloons and in welding applications.

When helium is used in lasers at high temperatures, it does not bind or react with other elements. Helium gas is also used to test high vacuum systems, fuel systems and other containment leaks. In combination with helium and oxygen, doctors can produce helium gas, a mixture of 79% helium and 21% oxygen which is useful for effective treatment of respiratory diseases such as asthma and emphysema.

Helium can replace nitrogen as a submersible gas mixture when divers enter the water due to the negative effects on the central nervous system. Helium is used together with CO2 as an inert gas in laser welding because it protects against combustion and other elements that can cause explosions at such high temperatures. In the welding process it is also used as an inert gas as materials can be contaminated and weakened at welding temperatures by air and nitrogen.

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