Helium: uses

The following uses for helium are gathered from a number of sources as well as from anecdotal comments. I'd be delighted to receive corrections as well as additional referenced uses (please use the feedback mechanism to add uses).

  • filling balloons (blimps) as it is a much safer gas than hydrogen
  • widely used as an inert gas shield for arc welding in countries where helium is cheaper than argon
  • protective gas in growing silicon and germanium crystals, and in titanium and zirconium production
  • cooling medium for nuclear reactors
  • a mixture of 80% helium and 20% oxygen is used as an artificial atmosphere for divers and others working under pressure
  • cryogenic applications
  • as a gas for supersonic wind tunnels
  • a protective gas for semiconductor materials
  • pressurizing liquid fuel rockets

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