Uses of the Group 18 Elements
- The gas is much less dense than air. Therefore it is used in balloons and ‘airships’.
- Because of its inertness, it doesn’t burn in air, UNLIKE hydrogen which used to be used in large balloons with ‘flammable’ consequences.
- Helium is also used in gas mixtures for deep-sea divers.
- This is because the solubility of the helium is very low. Therefore it will not dissolve in the blood even though the pressure of the surrounding is very high.
- Neon emits light when high voltage electricity is passed through it.
- Because of this, it is used in glowing ‘neon’ advertising signs and fluorescent lights.
- Argon, like all the Noble Gases is chemically inert.
- It used in filament bulbs because the metal filament will not burn in Argon and it reduces evaporation of the metal filament.
Argon also used to produce an inert atmosphere in high temperature metallurgical processes, eg in welding where it reduces brittle oxide formation reducing the weld quality.
Argon is also used for extinguishing fires where damage to equipment is to be avoided