It is chemically inert and non-flammable, with high thermal conductivity, low molecular weight and size, and the lowest boiling point known.
Helium has zero valences and like other noble gases is chemically inert under normal conditions. It also works as an electric insulator, when unionized.
|Proper Shipping Name: Helium Compressed
|Helium is a noble gas and belongs to group 18 of the Periodic table. It occurs as a monoatomic gas and is considered non-toxic for living organisms. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas.
Helium is an inert gas used in shielding and can be mixed with other gases.
Helium is the opposite of Argon in that it is lighter than air.
MIG welding with Helium: the energy in the arc is not very significant compared to Argon, and therefore, the weld bead will be more comprehensive, with poor penetration.
TIG welding with Helium: The opposite is true compared to MIG welding with Helium. TIG welding with helium results in faster travel speed and better weld penetration.
It costs more, so it should only be used on specific projects or for welding metals such as copper, magnesium, or aluminum.
Uses of Helium
Helium Gas 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 (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).
Meteorites and rocks have been analyzed for helium content as a means of dating.
Helium gas is available in compressed, liquid, and bulk gas cylinders. Helium is widely used in the welding industry as an inert shielding gas for arc welding. It is used both as a pure gas and in mixtures with Argon. In fewer cases of applications, Helium has the advantage over Argon in gas-shielded arc welding because it provides more excellent arc heat for the same welding currents and arc length.