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Thread: Helium shortage

  1. #11
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    Re: Helium shortage

    Looks ok on my end, I am going to buy another bottle just to be safe. The costs are somewhat astronomical in Maui however.

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    Re: Helium shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by jradomski  View Original Post
    research grades an get very expensive but I doubt that expensive.. I have seen some semiconductor grades go for several thousand dollars for a small cylinder...

    Just got a quote for UHP 5.0 T cylinder from my supplier... $429 and he can't guarantee he can get me even one cylinder.. All of his stock is reserved already, He has to check and see if any of his reserved customers are going to use thir allotment..

    He said he doesn't expect normal delievery again until at least late october or early november..
    Just got one the other day $145.00 shipped

  3. #13
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    Re: Helium shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by thetrickster  View Original Post
    $795 per litre!?!?!? they proofing their stories before publication ???

    Even here it's only £200 for 50ltr@200bar
    Ummm. That's LIQUID helium. Relax, you only need it if you run an MRI facility or a high-field mass spectrometry lab...

    Obviously one liter of liquid helium is a LOT of He, but supply of He is only part of the cost. The rest is in refrigerating it to ~4 K to make it liquid. That's right: 4 degrees above absolute zero. Superconducting magnets (like your local hospital's MRI or your local University's NMR) must be cooled to about this temperature in order for them to be, well - superconductors. Consider that most of these magnets have 20-50 liters of liquid helium and even with a liquid nitrogen jacket and a high-vacuum Dewar, the boil-off rate is about a liter every few days, and you can imagine why it costs so much to get an MRI at the hospital. They use a LOT of liquid He. This is far and away the largest single use of helium on earth and most of these instruments don't have helium recovery systems.

    You want to see something crazy - be in a room when one of those superconducting magnets "quenches". Look it up on YouTube. Energy equivalent to a fully loaded tractor trailer truck at 60 mph hitting a brick wall is dumped to heat in a few milliseconds when the superconducting wire in the magnet goes resistive due to a fault. The helium (and usually the liquid N2 also) flashes to vapor in a second or two, often explosively. It is a huge *bang* and it fills the room with inert gas instantly. Also, if the magnet is big enough, the collapse of the magnetic field can create an electromagnetic pulse that takes out all of the electronics in the room. Typically a bad day at the lab...

    That's not at all relevant to diving with rebreathers, but it is still fun to talk about...

    Lee
    Last edited by deepwrecksc; 7th August 2012 at 01:36. Reason: more random facts about liquid helium

  4. #14
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    Re: Helium shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougyfresh  View Original Post
    Just got one the other day $145.00 shipped

    what grade?

    My supplier has some industrial and hp grades still available, but I wount use that for breathing gas (gas isn't tested for methane and other hydrocarbons)... the lowest grade I would use is 4.6
    Joe Radomski
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    Re: Helium shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by jradomski  View Original Post
    what grade?

    My supplier has some industrial and hp grades still available, but i wount use that for breathing gas (gas isn't tested for methane and other hydrocarbons)... The lowest grade i would use is 4.6
    uhp 5.0

  6. #16
    Moderator jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski has a reputation beyond repute jradomski's Avatar
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    Re: Helium shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougyfresh  View Original Post
    uhp 5.0

    wow.. Does it come with an analysis certificate and the valve shrink wrapped??

    who are you getting it from? My supplier has treated me well over the years and has aways given me prices well below market, but right now he is having supply issues...
    Joe Radomski
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  7. #17
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    Re: Helium shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by jradomski  View Original Post
    wow.. Does it come with an analysis certificate and the valve shrink wrapped??

    who are you getting it from? My supplier has treated me well over the years and has aways given me prices well below market, but right now he is having supply issues...

    Yes all of the above

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