Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe and we wouldn’t all be here without it. Helium combines with hydrogen, the most abundant element, to supply almost all of the fuel needed to fuel our sun—and light the stars.
Helium has the lowest boiling point of all the elements and has no color or smell. Typically, helium is recovered from natural gas deposits.
Of course, the most common and mundane use for helium is to fill balloons for a party. It is also used in airships and commercial balloons to gain lift, since helium is lighter than air.
But the largest use of helium is in cryogenics, where the element’s extremely low boiling point and low density make it a valuable tool. As a prime example, the powerful magnets used in MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) generate a lot of heat and need to be cooled to provide detailed images of internal body structures. With its extremely low boiling point, liquid helium is best-suited to handle this task.
Staying with the medical field, a mixture of helium and oxygen (heliox) can be used for the treatment of respiratory ailments like asthma and emphysema because the mixture lowers overall airflow resistance. This mixture is also used to keep deep sea divers and others who work in pressurized conditions safe.
There’s more but you get the idea. What would we do without helium?
As one of the area’s leading gas suppliers for the industrial, commercial and health care fields, Hocon Industrial Gas has a product line that includes industrial, medical, specialty and cryogenic gases.
We can help you select the most effective and economical industrial gases and cylinder package for your operation. Available products also include high-pressure cylinders, liquid cryogenic gas cylinders and bulk gas systems.
If you have questions about the products we carry or how to use them, please contact us.