An introduction to…Valves in helium applications


When it comes to valves, the issue of high tightness to environment is becoming more and more important. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of future gas applications in growing sectors – such as new gas transportation concepts that involve hydrogen, or the use of helium in science applications.

Given the flammability of hydrogen – and with rapid growth in truck trailers, ship transportation and hydrogen filling stations predicted for the coming years – it’s vital that leakage is minimised for safety reasons. High levels of operator, customer and plant safety must be assured across a large number of sites with minimum of additional effort and cost compared to today’s petrol-oriented infrastructure.

Public safety regulations relating to the handling of gases in indoor areas focus on reducing high concentrations that pose a health risk if inhaled. Specifications relating to liquid helium, in particular, prioritise handling efficiency and related operating costs, due to the high unit price of the gas and the sheer energy consumption required to achieve the liquid form.

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