OSC: The Ultimate Helium Gas Supplier

Helium gas is a staple across many industries. Learn more about helium gas and what makes Oxygen Service Company the #1 helium gas supplier.

Helium does a lot more than fill balloons and make your voice sound funny. It’s one of the world’s most important gases and has singular properties that make it an integral component across industries. Keep reading to learn more about helium gas and what makes Oxygen Service Company the ultimate helium gas supplier.

What Is Helium Gas?

Helium is a noble gas and the second element on the periodic table. It has several properties that give it industry-bridging applications. Despite being the second most abundant element in the known universe, helium is anything but ordinary. It:

  • Is the second lightest element (lighter than air)
  • Is the least reactive gas
  • Is the least soluble gas
  • Forms no chemical compounds
  • Has very low density and viscosity
  • Has exceptionally high thermic conductivity

Helium is naturally occurring and sourced from natural gas fields, most of which can be found in the United States. However, U.S. helium gas suppliers have been struggling with a national helium shortage over the past few years. Despite this shortage, OSC is committed to maintaining a steady supply of high-quality helium.

Close up view of Helium tank with valve

Helium’s Applications

This extraordinary element has extraordinary applications, including:


32% of helium in the United States is used for its unique cryogenic properties. Helium’s low molecular weight and weak interatomic reactions lend it interesting properties when cooled below a critical temperature. Unlike many gases, helium never condenses to form into a solid—even when at absolute zero and under ambient pressure.

Helium gas systems also have distinctive applications with heat transference. Cryogenic helium systems can move heat from a low-temperature volume to a high-temperature volume, which violates the second law of thermodynamics. This phenomenon isn’t fully understood, though many researchers attribute it to the heat created when helium changes from a liquid to a gas.


Like argon or carbon dioxide, helium is frequently used as a shielding gas in welding processes. Compared to other shielding gases, helium is unique because of its excellent thermal conductivity. This conductivity improves welding penetration patterns and wetting of the welding bead, resulting in stronger welds.

Helium temperature resistance makes it especially suitable for welding temperature-sensitive materials, like aluminum or copper. If your welding needs call for a gas that can keep your aluminum and copper welds clean, helium can help. For clean, high-quality gas delivered on time, turn to OSC.

Pressurizing and Purging

The second most common use of helium is in pressurizing and purging applications. Helium is ideal for purging because it has the lowest melting and boiling point of any gas and is totally inert. This makes it perfect for displacing cold liquids like liquid oxygen or liquid hydrogen, because it’s impossible for helium to freeze over. This supreme temperature resistance makes helium the only gas suitable for use as a pressurizing agent in rocket engines—only helium can withstand the maximal heat.

Industries That Need a Helium Gas Supply

Helium’s applications make it useful across industries, including:


Helium’s unique temperature resistance makes it commonplace in the aerospace industry. Helium is the only gas that works as a pressurizing agent for ground and flight fluid systems, making a steady supply of helium crucial for the aerospace industry. Outside of use as a pressurizer, this gas is also commonly found in weather and surveillance balloons.


Helium is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, fiber-optic wire, and LCD panels, enhancing technology throughput by controlling heat. Helium has unique cooling capabilities that improve technology’s efficiency and reduce defects.


Helium gas is frequently used in the automotive industry to test parts like:

  • Radiators
  • AC units
  • Fuel tanks
  • Catalytic converters

Helium gas allows technicians to check that these key components meet quality specifications. Outside of safety testing, helium is also used as the inflation agent in airbags. It’s one of the few gases able to expand at required speeds without generating heat that could burn the driver.

Welding and Metal Fabrication

Companies in the welding industry need a consistent helium gas supplier. Helium gas is the only acceptable shielding agent when arc welding temperature-sensitive metals like aluminum, magnesium, or copper. While other shielding gases can be used in these applications, they don’t provide the same quality as helium. Don’t see your industry listed? OSC can customize a helium supply for your company.

Choose OSC as Your Next Helium Gas Supplier

Looking for the right helium gas supplier? Contact Oxygen Service Company! We’ve been delivering high-quality helium across the Midwest for decades!

Other Applications of Helium Gas

  • Healthcare

    Helium is used to reach the cryogenic temperatures that superconductor magnets require in MRI and NMR machines. These medical machines are some of the only techniques we have for capturing high-resolution images of internal organs and tissues, so helium is responsible for saving thousands of lives every day.

  • Diving

    Helium even has diving applications! It’s combined with oxygen to create a specialty gas known as heliox. Heliox vents nitrogen from diving gear, which eliminates nitrogen narcosis and reduces breathing resistance at depth. This helps divers stay underwater longer.

    While this may sound like a niche application, underwater welding is extremely important. Without wet welding, repair of offshore structures, pipelines, ships, and submarines would be entirely impossible.

  • Microscopes

    Helium ion microscopes are slowly replacing traditional electron microscopes. Helium-powered microscopes produce higher-resolution images because helium ions possess shorter wavelengths than traditional electrons. This lets helium ions focus together to create an extremely tight beam of light, which translates to a much clearer microscope image.

  • Balloons!

    We saved helium’s most well-known (and fun) application for last. While it’s a relatively small part of the helium industry, helium gas mixtures are commonly used to fill balloons. Here’s a fun fact: you’d need around 6,000 balloons to lift you into the air if you weighed 165 pounds! Don’t grab on to 6,000+ helium balloons at once, or you’ll find yourself part of the aerospace industry!

    While less pressing than airbags or oil pipeline repair, balloons make life lighter and are worth mentioning!

Partner With a Helium Gas Supplier That Delivers!

Oxygen Service Company’s goal is getting you what you need, when you need it. That’s why we offer rapid delivery for any gas order. Need helium now? Give us a call!

OSC Is the Midwest’s #1 Helium Gas Supplier

Compared to other Midwest suppliers of helium gas, OSC stands above. We’ve been the Midwest’s #1 helium gas supplier since 1959 because of our industry-leading technical skills, complete inventory, and unparalleled level of service.

Contact Us Today

Some of our best customer relationships started with a phone call. Give us a ring today, and let’s start our professional partnership.