Surprising Uses for Helium

Surprising Uses for Helium

Surprising Uses for Helium

Helium is a chemical element that is known for its ability to make balloons float and for its use in medical imaging machines. However, this gas has a surprising range of uses that are not commonly known. Let’s use our KnowHow and explore some of the less-known and surprising uses of helium: 

Deep Sea Diving

Helium is used as a breathing gas for deep-sea diving due to its low density and high thermal conductivity. This gas is an excellent choice for divers because it allows them to breathe easily at depth and reduces the risk of decompression sickness.


Helium is also used in welding processes due to its high thermal conductivity. It is often mixed with other gases like argon to create a shielding gas that prevents oxidation and helps to produce a high-quality weld.

Particle Accelerators

In particle accelerators, helium is used as a coolant for the superconducting magnets. These magnets are used to generate strong magnetic fields that accelerate particles to high speeds. Helium is an excellent coolant for these magnets because it has a low boiling point and can cool the magnets to extremely low temperatures.

MRI Machines

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines use helium to cool the superconducting magnets used in the imaging process. These magnets need to be cooled to extremely low temperatures to function effectively. Helium is an excellent coolant for this purpose, and it is also non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-reactive.

Gas Chromatography

Helium is commonly used as a carrier gas in gas chromatography. In this process, a mixture of gases is separated by passing it through a column that contains a stationary phase. The helium acts as a carrier gas that moves the mixture through the column, allowing the components to be separated and identified.


Helium is also used in the cleaning of high-tech equipment like computer chips, hard drives, and fiber optics. It is used to blow away dust and debris without damaging the delicate components.

Space Exploration

Helium is also used in space exploration. It is used as a coolant for spacecraft electronics and as a fuel for rockets. The gas is also used to inflate airbags that cushion the landing of spacecraft on other planets.

It comes as no surprise that helium is a gas with many diverse uses. From deep-sea diving to space exploration, this gas has proved to be essential in many fields of science and industry. Its unique properties, such as low density and high thermal conductivity, make it an excellent choice for many applications. While helium is commonly known for its use in balloons, these lesser-known uses demonstrate the vital role it plays in our daily lives. At nexAir, we are proud to provide our customers with a high-quality steady supply of helium for various uses. If you are in need of some of your own, please contact us. Let’s Forge Forward, together! 

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