Helium (He)

Helium is a noble gas and plays an important role in many processes. It is much lighter than air and the second lightest of all gases. Helium is used in analytical instruments, cryogenic research, magnetic resonance imaging equipment, laser equipment and density measurements. 

Helium properties

Helium is a colourless, odourless, non-toxic and inert noble gas. Helium is much lighter than air and the second lightest of all gases. It is also the second most abundant element in the known universe after hydrogen.

Helium is transported and stored as a pressurised and liquefied gas. One litre of liquid helium yields about 740 litres of gaseous helium. Helium is the coldest known liquid at -268.9 ºC. 

What is helium used for?

Helium uses

Helium plays an important role in many processes. Helium is used in analytical instruments, cryogenic research, MRI equipment, laser equipment and density measurements. Other uses include various processes such as fibre optics, semiconductors, research, airbag manufacturing, leak detection, heat and surface treatment. Helium is also used in refrigeration and rocketry.

As a light gas, helium is also used as a so-called lifting gas, for example in weather balloons, blimps and balloons, because it is lighter than air.

Woikoske offers helium in different purity grades, in different mixtures and as liquefied gas.

Helium as a welding gas

Helium gives better lateral penetration and higher welding speed due to higher arc energy relative to argon. The higher arc energy results in higher welding speeds and reduced weld porosity. 

Helium has good thermal conductivity. This makes it particularly suitable for mechanised and automated processes where high welding speeds are used, for example, as well as for welding thicker materials. welding of thick materials.

As helium is lighter than air, it has a lower shielding capacity than argon. Therefore, a much higher gas flow rate should be used.

Due to its high ionisation energy, helium has a low flammability of the arc and is therefore commonly used as an alloying component with argon.



Chemical symbol: He
Density: 0,18 kg/m3
Relative density: 0.14 (air=1)
Boiling point at 0,101 MPa: -268,9 °C
Reactivity on welding: Inert
Ionisation energy: 24,6 eV
Cylinder thread: DIN 477 No. 10, 24,32 x 1,814 SFS 2292

UN number: 1046, helium, compressed


Do not breathe helium!

Helium makes balloons float because it is a lighter gas than air. Depending on the balloon material, the balloon will float for a few hours to a few days. As a balloon gas, helium is very safe. It does not react with other substances and is odourless, colourless and tasteless. However, there is a danger in inhaling helium.

Why does helium change the sound?

Helium is often inhaled in a humorous way because when inhaled it makes the pitch of a person's voice rise. This is because the speed of sound is three times faster in helium than in air.

But there is a danger in breathing helium. When inhaled, it displaces oxygen from the lungs. In large quantities, it also displaces oxygen from the blood and can even cause pneumothorax. Helium aspirated into the lungs also does not cause breathing reflexes and inhalation is not recommended, even in small quantities.


Copyright @ Woikoski 2022. The content of this site is copyright-protected and is the property of Woikoski Ltd. All righst reserved.