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Helium

A rare gas for inerting, cooling or welding applications

Helium is abundant in the Sun's atmosphere but is found at trace level in the Earth's atmosphere. However, it may also be found in fossil form in natural gas pockets in some oil fields, where it is extracted by drilling deep into the subsoil of certain regions in the U.S.A., Algeria and Qatar.

Helium is an extremely light gas (its density is 0.169 kg/m3) and is therefore very volatile. It is colorless, odorless, non-flammable and completely inert. This noble gas is essential to many industrial applications thanks to its characteristics: very low boiling point allowing electrical superconductivity, very low density, high thermal conductivity, very low solubility.

Applications

Helium is a chemically inert gas and plays a critical role in a wide array of industries and applications.

For example, helium 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.

Below you will find some of the main applications using helium.

Industries / Activities Applications

Aeronautics

Leak detection

Heat treatment
Aeronautics, Automotive, Craftsmen, Construction, Metal Fabrication, Metals Inert shielding gas for arc and laser welding
Laser cutting
Entertainers Balloon
Environment - Air Regulatory compliance, quality and process control
Oil & Gas

Offshore and subsea work (diving)

Gas petroleum analysis

 

Equipment

To choose the right regulator, flowmeter, or accessories according to your use of gas cylinder, please consult our dedicated page to Gas handling equipment and accessories for industrial gases.

Brands

ARCAL™ and LASAL™  are brands of Air Liquide dedicated respectively to shielding gases for welding and high purity gases for laser cutting

Supply modes

Air Liquide Canada can provide helium in different sizes of cylinders and large volume in dewars. Please contact our specialty gas team to know more about our helium offer.