Helium gas bottle hire for use as balloon gas in decorative helium balloons.
Helium Gas Tank - Cylinder Sizes
Helium gas is available in G2, E2 and D2 gas cylinder sizes.
All cylinders are designed for transport.
Recommended Helium Gas Cylinder Sizes
D2 cylinder is recommended for a small function needing to inflate approximately 140 standard size party balloons
E2 cylinder is recommended for the small to medium size functions needing to inflate approximately 300 standard size party balloons
G2 cylinder is recommended for the large functions needing to inflate approximately 750 standard size party balloons
Who Discovered Helium?
The following is a timeline of the major events in the history of helium:
1868 – Theoretical evidence of the existence of Helium was based the discovery of a bright yellow spectral line (at 587.49 nanometers) from a prism of sunlight. The discovery was made by Pierre Jules César Janssen, a French astronomer, during a solar eclipse.
1868 – Joseph Norman Lockyer named it Helium, after the Greek sun god – Helios.
1882 – Helium was first observed on Earth by Italian physicist Luigi Palmieri, whilst analysing lava from a volcano.
1895 – Actual helium gas was isolated by Sir William Ramsay, a Scottish chemist, by treating cleveite with acids.
1903 – Significant quantities of helium were found in particular natural gas fields within the USA.
1908 – Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was the first to liquefy helium.
What is Helium Used For?
Here are some of the most notable uses for helium:
Filling of decorative balloons is probably the best known and most common use.
It is used to provide lift in Lighter-Than-Air ships – blimps and dirigibles – based on its extremely low density compared to air.
It is used as a cooling agent in scientific devices such as the Large Hadron Collider, MRI scanners and NMR spectrometers, as well as being used as a carrier gas for gas chromatography.
Helium is very inert. This lends itself to use as a protective atmosphere for a number of processes including welding and semiconductor production.
Deep sea divers use a mixture of 80% helium and 20% oxygen. This eliminates nitrogen, which normally makes up 80% of the air we breathe, reducing nitrogen narcosis and other adverse physiological effects.
Liquid helium is used to promote superconductivity in certain metals
Helium is a colourless, odourless and non-toxic gas
Boiling point: −268.9°C or −452.1°F. This makes it the lowest condensation temperature of any known substance.
Helium is the only element that remains liquid down to absolute zero (0°K) at 1 atm.
Helium vapour and liquid both have very low viscosity. This is why helium leaks out of an apparently sealed balloon.
Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe
Where is Helium Found and How is it Produced?
Most helium is obtained as a by-product of natural gas from only certain locations, most notably in the USA. It can be as much as 7%.
Helium is extracted by a process called fractional distillation, which uses very low temperature to separate the gases.
The helium is then purified using activated charcoal.
Finally, helium is liquefied cryogenically so that it can be transported on an economical basis.
|Periodic Table Symbol:||He|
|Boiling point:||-268.9°C or -452.1°F|
|Melting point:||-272.20°C or ?-457.96°F (at 2.5 MPa)|
|Helium Density (g cm-3):||0.000164|
|Density of liquid helium at melting point:||0.145 g/cm3|
|Density of liquid helium at boiling point:||0.125 g/cm3|
|Relative atomic mass:||4.003|
|Atomic mass:||4.00260 g.mol -1|
Helium Balloon Gas Safety: Don’t Be a Daffy Duck
There is a well-known party trick where people suck gas out of helium balloons to talk funny.
The amusement of talking like Donald Duck is overshadowed by the dangers involved with inhaling helium balloon gas.
It’s not only ‘daffy’... It can even be fatal!
Why Does Helium Make You Sound Funny?
When you speak, you rely on your vocal chords to make the sounds. The air passing through your larynx causes the vocal chords to vibrate. The mouth, lips and tongue then convert the sound into speech.
When you inhale helium, it affects the timbre of your voice, because helium is much less dense than air. This is a result of sound travelling faster through helium than air, as well as helium favouring high pitched sounds.
Danger of Asphyxiation
Helium is not poisonous, as it is an inert gas. However, it can be an asphyxiant when inhaled instead of normal air. This is known as Inert Gas Asphyxiation.
Breathing just helium, or any inert gas, creates an absence of oxygen. The helium displaces the air, including the required oxygen, in your lungs. This can cause your body’s oxygen level to drop to hazardously low levels, initiating Hypoxia.
Symptoms of Hypoxia
The resulting Hypoxia is a condition that develops when the body is deprived of an adequate supply of oxygen. Generalised hypoxia can cause dizziness, disorientation, abnormal heart function, unconsciousness and even death.
Risk of an Embolism or Ruptured Lung
Inhaling helium too deeply or directly from a gas cylinder is even more dangerous. The pressurised gas can cause an embolism. An embolism is a blockage of a blood vessel which, in this case, is caused by a gas bubble. This can cause a stroke, seizures or death.
The inhalation of pressurised gas can also damage the lungs. Air sacs in the lungs are likely to rupture and death follows almost immediately, as victims literally drown in their own blood.
Be Safe with Helium Balloon Gas
Don’t be a daffy duck! Here are some safety tips to keep you, your family and friends safe:
Don’t inhale helium balloon gas. The risks far outweigh the momentary amusement.
Share the Be Gas Wise web site with your family and friends on Facebook or let everyone know on Twitter:
Ensure helium balloon gas and other gases are only used for their intended purposes.
Always follow the safety warnings.
Make sure children are always supervised when playing with balloons.
Click to download the PDF of MSDS Helium (Balloon Gas)
Don't Release Helium Balloons Outdoors
Releasing balloons may seems harmless except balloons do eventually come back down to earth and can cause environmental damage. Released balloons pose a danger to wildlife and especially marine wildlife.
Releasing balloons may also be illegal, depending on where you live. For example, in NSW it is against the law to release 20 or more balloons.
Video & Conclusion
Elgas and the balloon industry are deeply concerned about the misuse of helium balloon gas. We want to ensure that customers, their family and friends are all educated to understand the dangers and how to safely enjoy helium balloons.
To help educate Australians, BOC, with the support of Elgas, has produced the following community service announcement. Voiced by iconic Australian actor Michael Caton, the video depicts a family setting up for a children’s party.
“We’ve all seen this at one time or another, some of us may even have done it ourselves, but inhaling balloon gas is very dangerous and can be fatal,’’ Mr Caton says in the announcement. “The helium in balloon gas acts as an asphyxiant and when you inhale it displaces the oxygen in your lungs. Balloon gas is safe in balloons and when you release it in a well-ventilated area and in a safe manner. So the next time you see some sucker about to inhale balloon gas or you think it is going to be a laugh, stop and be gas wise,’’ he says.
You will most likely see it on TV over the coming months. Many thanks to Michael Caton for once again agreeing to be our ‘voice talent’ on this, as well as our previous BBQ Safety community service announcement. Finally, kudos to our friends at BOC for creating the 'Be Gas Wise' safety campaign.
Do not inhale balloon helium.
Helium does not support life. Inhaling helium can lead to suffocation or even death.Cylinders must be stored below 55ºC, in a naturally ventilated areas constructed of non-combustible material with a firm level floor, away from areas of high traffic and emergency exits.
Read all instructions and warnings on the cylinder, cylinder tag, packaging and leaflets to ensure optimum results and your safety.
If users have further questions supplier can be contacted.
Ensure that safe handling procedures are followed at all times.
Store cylinders in an upright position and secure properly to prevent toppling.
Safety stands; braces, trolleys, straps and other purpose designed cylinder safety equipment can be purchased from many industry suppliers, as well as Elgas.
Regulators should not be attached to the cylinder during transport.
Cylinders must be secured during transport.
Always store and transport cylinders in a well-ventilated area away from obvious fire risks.
Do not bend and lift cylinders.
Use a trolley to move cylinders.
Click to download PDF of MSDS Helium (Balloon Gas)
Helium inhalation is no laughing matter
Balloons at parties are to be enjoyed but customers should be warned that an attempt to sound like a cartoon character can be fatal. When inhaled, balloon gas displaces air in the lungs in the way similar to water when a person drowns.
Inhaling balloon gas cuts off oxygen supply to the body. Without oxygen it only takes a few seconds before an individual can become dizzy or unconscious and can stop breathing.
Inhaling balloon gas under pressure straight from the cylinder is even more dangerous. Air sacs in the lungs are likely to rupture and death follows almost immediately, as victims literally drown in their own blood.
Elgas and the balloon industry are deeply concerned about the misuse of Balloon Gas.
Ensure that customers are advised to educate family and friends to understand the dangers.
Ensure that customers are also advised to always supervise children and teenagers.