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Helium, a chemically inert gas, plays a critical role in a wide array of industries and applications, including electronics, . Air Liquide supplies this pure specialty gas in many volumes, depending on your needs, from ISO containers to nonreturnable Mini-Mix™ Transportable cylinders.
In the electronics industry, helium is employed for purging, annealing, sputtering, leak checking and etching applications. It is also used for backside temperature control to maintain uniform water temperature during critical deposition processes and cool down tools following high temperature cleaning cycles.
Helium is essential to the fiber optics sector. It is used to create the highly purified glass preform from which the fibers are made. Helium is also key to the cooling process and enables high-speed, high-volume production.
Laboratories and Research
Air Liquide engineers various grades of pure helium under the ALPHAGAZ™ brand. ALPHAGAZ 1 grade of pure helium has a purity of 99.999%. ALPHAGAZ 2 is ultra-pure at 99.9998%, perfect for critical laboratory and analytic applications. Both ALPHAGAZ grades of helium come in compressed gas cylinders equipped with ergonomic open caps and SMARTOP™ valves. Helium in cryogenic liquid form is also available under ALPHAGAZ 1000. It has a purity of 99.999% and is used for applications such as cooling magnets in NMR spectrometers. Scott™ brand helium in nitrogen gas mixtures are available when high accuracy and precision are demanded in your laboratory.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
MRI scanners, which are mainly utilized to detect tumors and tissue abnormalities, use liquid helium to cool the large magnet that maintains the extremely low temperatures necessary for the machine to function properly.
Helium is used to pressurize fuel tanks and pipelines in rockets and satellites. The cooling properties of helium ensure that satellites’ complex measuring systems do not overheat.
Helium is widely used in the welding industry as an inert shielding gas for arc welding. It is utilized both as a pure gas and in mixtures with argon for TIG or MIG welding. In some applications, helium has an advantage over argon in gas-shielded arc welding because it provides greater arc heat for the same welding currents and arc length. This results in deeper penetration, which is preferable for welding heavier materials that require greater welding speed or when metals of high thermal conductivity are to be welded.
The Helium Services Group at Air Liquide ensures a stable supply of pure helium for use in balloons for festive occasions, meteorology and research. We have a dedicated delivery fleet and customizable delivery services to guarantee your helium suppy. Cylinders from Air Liquide come equipped with ergonomic open caps and SMARTOP™ valves, with quick ON/OFF levers and built-in pressure gauges to minimize product shrinkage. Ancillary equipment designed to safely handle helium is also available, including cylinder carts and cylinder stands.
Helium gas with oxygen in diving tanks prevents the narcotic effect of nitrogen in deep waters. Industries with operations offshore rely on diving gases and breathing mixtures for subsea work.
Helium is transported from sources around the world in liquid ISO containers. It is then taken to a transfill facility where it is transferred into liquid helium dewars or vaporized and compressed into high-pressure stainless steel cylinders and/or helium tube trailers. Multi-cylinder packs are also available.
Air Liquide manufactures gas handling equipment to deliver pure helium and helium gas mixtures safely to your point of use, including gas pressure regulators, single-station manifolds and cylinder carts and stands. Brass pressure regulators (i.e. Model 318) are specifically recommended for noncorrosive specialty gases such as helium.