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Significance of helium as an inert gas in TIG welding
Helium is often used as a shielding gas in TIG welding (tungsten inert gas welding). Inert gases are used to protect the welding area from contamination from the ambient air and to ensure a clean weld seam. Helium is often used as a shielding gas in TIG welding due to its chemical inertness, high thermal conductivity and good penetration behavior. It enables more stable arc burning and higher welding speeds, resulting in high-quality welded joints.

Occurrence
Helium is a chemical element with the symbol He and atomic number 2 in the periodic table of elements. It is the second most common element in the universe and makes up around 24% of the mass of the universe. On Earth, however, it is relatively rare and occurs almost exclusively as a trace element, mostly in natural gas deposits. Helium is mainly obtained through natural gas extraction, as it is a by-product of natural gas production.

Properties
Helium is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. It is the lightest noble gas and has the lowest boiling and melting temperature of all the elements. Under standard conditions, helium is an inert gas, i.e. it is not chemically reactive. It has a high thermal conductivity, a low density and is non-flammable. These properties make it extremely useful for various applications.

The price
The price of helium can fluctuate greatly depending on supply and demand on the market. Due to its scarcity on earth and its many uses, the price can fluctuate. In recent years, the price of helium has risen, partly due to limited supply and increasing demand.

Uses Helium has a variety of uses, including

Refrigeration: Due to its low boiling temperature, helium is often used as a coolant for extremely low temperature applications, such as cryogenics.

Floating: Due to its low density compared to air, helium is used in balloons to make them float.

Medical applications: Helium is used in medicine for various purposes, including respiratory therapy and cooling magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.

Aviation: Helium is used in some aircraft, e.g. in airships, to generate lift.

Technical applications: Helium is used in gas chromatography, leak detection and other technical applications.

Helium as an inert gas for welding

Overall, helium plays an important role in various industrial, scientific and technical applications and is a valuable raw material due to its unique properties and limited availability.

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