News HGST boosts hard drives with helium filling

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 14 Sep 2012.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Last edited: 14 Sep 2012
  2. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    I think the volume of Helium used in a HDD will be pretty trivial compared to other uses. This is an impressive development.
     
  3. Griffter

    Griffter New Member

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    will the helium not leak out in time? think its a gimmick that will work for now. not the future
     
  4. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

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    I would prefer if helium was used for MRI scanner and the like. Of course, places like CERN should help, I can't imagine it's impossible to reuse or recapture some of the helium they use each year.
     
  5. Byron C

    Byron C Game's over losers, I have all the money!

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    Will it make my computer lighter? :p

    In all seriousness though, this:

    is exactly how I feel about it. Call it a trivial amount if you wish, but helium really is that important.

    It always makes me cringe when the other half drags me into Hobbycraft and I see dirty great tanks of helium sitting behind the counter; espeically when you know that it'll be used to inflate balloons which will end up either getting popped, being thrown out or have the helium sucked out of them by people who want to sound like their testicles are being squeezed. Of course I've done all of the above in the past, but I've come to learn just how precious helium is. If you want a silly squeaky voice then just ask someone to actually squeeze your testicles.

    As for storage solutions, we've got to find a better way than squeezing incremental improvements out of what is essentially technology from decades ago.
     
  6. casey_cole

    casey_cole New Member

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    How has it taken this long for a company to do this? It's pretty simple, fundamental fluid dynamics...
     
  7. Action_Parsnip

    Action_Parsnip New Member

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    Lol @ The Save The Helium Foundation above

    Won't someone think of the children!!
     
  8. Byron C

    Byron C Game's over losers, I have all the money!

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    B******s to the children and their party balloons. Or perhaps you'd prefer a world without MRI scanners or scientific research.

    My mother always taught me to engage your brain before your mouth (or in this case, fingers). Here's a starter for you.
     
  9. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    Even before reading the article I was thinking "Yet another stupid waste of helium".

    We've got (best estimates) between 25 and 30 years worth of helium resource left, and like any such estimate I would imagine the depletion will only accelerate as we use more and more of it each year.

    It's sad that the second most abundant element in the universe can't hang around on this planet as we can put it to such wonderful uses (Like Up! - that was real right?).

    Maybe one day we'll be harvesting helium from off-world sources but the way we over consume every precious resource we can get our grubby mits on I sometimes wonder if we'll be able to keep our society around long enough to get that far.
     
  10. Goty

    Goty New Member

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    Yeeeaaaaaah.... there's no such thing.
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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  12. Byron C

    Byron C Game's over losers, I have all the money!

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    What the hell did I just (attempt to) read?
     
  13. metarinka

    metarinka New Member

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    actually it is impossible to reclaim once it escapes into the atmosphere, as it has the second lowest density of any gas, it rises to the top of the atmosphere and is blown away by solar winds and radiation. There's in-process helium reclimation for industrial processes that use it a lot, but it's rather expensive to reclaim on a small scale.

    While there is not an immediate shortage or lack of supply, it is going to be a long-term issue. As a welder we use helium by the truckload, and don't quite know what we'll do when it's gone.
     
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  14. 23RO_UK

    23RO_UK Hasta Mañana

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    +1 to that ^^^
     
  15. metarinka

    metarinka New Member

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    Yes helium has a non-zero leak rate which is a function of what material the container is made out off and how thick it is. The leak rates for an all metal container are very low, but not zero, especially porous aluminum.

    Gimmick? hard to say, you may just need a fill port and a once yearly filling of the drive. Takes away all the practicality though.
     
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  16. metarinka

    metarinka New Member

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    biggest use for helium is industrial chemical processing, second biggest user is welding. everything else is far behind in terms of amount required
     
  17. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    A large slice of awesome, that's what. :D
     
  18. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I suspect targeting this as a waste of helium is like worrying about global warming due to standby LEDs.
     
  19. themassau

    themassau New Member

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    didn't they use a closed loop whit heat pumps to cool the magnets so no helium leaks out. they are not going to use it like the really useless OC competition. liquid nitrogen ok, liquid helium not or at least till we can do nuclear fusion.
     
  20. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    After reading this, and the helium thread in Serious, I can't help but feel the same. It's a very small volume of space being filled with helium and while this technology could potentially be used in a massive amount of hard drives I strongly doubt it's the best place to start looking for helium waste. Enterprise storage is an important part of our modern world, seems well worth the relatively small impact this would have on helium supplies.
     

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