specialty gas suppliers

Exploring the Types and Purity Levels of Helium Gas

By now, you may know that the specialty gas market is categorized into two types: pure gases and gas mixtures, and that all major gas manufacturers provide specialty pure gases in several grades, ranging from high purity (99.998% min. purity) to ultra-high purity (99.999% min. purity) to research grade (99.9999% min. purity). Helium Gas is just one specialty gas that comes in multiple types and purity grades. The global specialty gases market is forecast to surpass $14 billion by 2026, and many specialty gas suppliers provide multiple purity levels of helium. Here’s what you should know about the different types and purity levels of helium gas.

Grade 6 Helium

This grade of helium is the closest to 100% purity that’s available. It’s most commonly used in the making of semiconductor chips, which are tiny devices used in smartphones, televisions, tablets, and other electronics. This grade of helium is also used in laser cutting applications as well as in MRI machines. It’s even a carrier gas in chromatography.

Grade 5.5 Helium

This grade is considered “research grade.” It’s used in chromatography and semiconductor processing as well. It’s also used as a cooling gas for fiber optics and other industries that need a fine purity of helium gas.

Grade 5 Helium

Slightly less pure than grade 5.5 helium, this grade of helium is also used in gas chromatography as well as mass spectrometry and other types of lab research. This is also the grade of helium that’s used in weather balloons and blimps.

Grade 4.8 Helium

The specialty gas market is categorized into six applications: electronics and semiconductors, analytical and calibration, refrigeration, medical and healthcare, manufacturing, and others. Grade 4.8 helium is considered the highest of the “industrial grade” helium levels and is used by the military. The rest is considered classified information.

A report done by Grand View Research predicts that cost reduction, yield improvement and performance optimization are projected to drive the global the specialty gas market over a six-year timespan (2014 to 2020). Understanding the different types of helium specialty gases can help you choose the right purity levels for your application needs. For more information about calibration gas and specialty gas suppliers, contact Mesa Gas.


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