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"The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"



 
 
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  #11  
Old May 7th 18, 10:33 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
VanguardLH[_2_]
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Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

Lynn McGuire wrote:

jerryab wrote:

VanguardLH wrote:

What are they going to use after the helium is gone?


Depends what they can get cheap. They might experiment with another
noble gas--or they might try hydrogen. Then again, solid state storage
might become more practical as the tech improves.


Nitrogen would be better than Helium.


Nitrogen's thermal transfer rate is abysmal. So is oxygen. That's why
[trapped] air is used as an insulator. Helium transfers heat 8 times
faster than nitrogen. Hydrogen transfers heat over 7 times faster than
nitrogen. It isn't just about adding some gas so the heads will fly a
few micrometers above the platters. It's also about heat dissipation.

In another of my posts, I gave a link to the thermal conductivity of
many gases to show why helium was chosen over nitrogen. While hydrogen
looks like a nearly equal choice to helium, hydrogen is more reactive.
Helium is an inert gas. Hydrogen is not.
  #12  
Old May 8th 18, 12:49 AM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
Lynn McGuire[_3_]
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Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

On 5/5/2018 2:24 PM, VanguardLH wrote:
Mark Perkins wrote:

VanguardLH wrote:

The heads need to fly over the platters. That cannot happen if there is
no gas inside the drive. Vacuum drives would have the heads sliding
across the surface of the platters, like how floppies worked. Heads fly
off the platter to eliminate wear.


Magnetic levitation? ;-)

(Easy for me to say since I'm not the one who has to develop the
technology.)


Not sure the heads would be close enough. Flying height with gas is
just a few nanometers. The drives are not sealed but a cleaned air
mixture is used inside and a sinter filter used to keep out particles
from outside air that might enter the drive. At high altitudes,
pressure drops outside (so air leaves the hard drive), so the air inside
can become too thin to support the minimal flying height.

http://www.dell.com/support/article/...high-altitudes
http://knowledge.seagate.com/article...language=ja_JA

There's probably some physics involved where if the gas molecules are
too few for flying height that there is too much resistance or
turbulence from molecular gas collisions. I suspect they won't ever
approach the atomic radius of molecular oxygen (O2). Atomic size of
nascent oxygen is 60 pm but it immediately bonds to an O2 molecule which
is ~120 pm. Nitrogen's atomic size is 65 pm. Clean room air gets into
the hard disk during manufacture. It is an air mixture. They could use
pure oxygen but you already know the explosive potential of pure oxygen,
plus pure oxygen is toxic. Maybe they went to helium (140 pm) because
the manufacture techs like talking in high-pitched voices.

Anything other than an air mixture means the techs assembling the hard
disk would have to wear breathing appartus, like a bunch of scuba divers
out of water. I was wondering why they didn't use nitrogen instead of
helium. It's because helium is an inert gas. For long-term storage and
to prevent corrosion, parts are stored in environments comprised of
inert gases: helium, neon, argon, krypton, or xenon. Nitrogen is not an
inert gas. However, it takes some extreme scenarios for nitrogen to be
corrosive. For example, to make ammonia requires directing nitrogen and
hydrogen over a hot iron plate. While not inert, dry nitrogen isn't
that active. Liquid nitrogen is used to super-cool high-density chips
(we built 3 mainframes on a 3" die which had to be in liquid nitrogen
when operating). So why not use dry nitrogen with its lower viscosity
and lower atomic size instead of helium? Nitrogen and oxygen are both a
poor conductor of heat. That's why air which is used as an thermal
insulator. See:

https://www.engineersedge.com/heat_t...vity-gases.htm

Helium conducts heat 8 times better than nitrogen or oxygen. Hydrogen
(which is reproducible) is also a good thermal conductor. Remember what
happened to the Hindenburg airship? When the limited supply of helium
gets more rare and its prices soar, we'll probably be seeing hydrogen-
filled hard disks (if rotating magnetic media is still used by then).


I doubt that hydrogen would ever be used for hard drive atmospheres.
Two phrases, "hydrogen wants to be free", and "hydrogen embrittlement"
come to mind.

BTW, there is still helium production in the USA. One of the Kansas
natural gas fields has a large portion of helium in it. They separate
it from the natural gas and sell it. I also suspect that helium could
be recovered from air should we want it bad enough. It would be a tough
separation though. According to wikipedia, helium is 5.2 ppm in the air.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium...and_production

Lynn


  #13  
Old May 8th 18, 01:29 AM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
VanguardLH[_2_]
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Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

Lynn McGuire wrote:

VanguardLH wrote:

Helium conducts heat 8 times better than nitrogen or oxygen.
Hydrogen (which is reproducible) is also a good thermal conductor.
Remember what happened to the Hindenburg airship? When the limited
supply of helium gets more rare and its prices soar, we'll probably
be seeing hydrogen- filled hard disks (if rotating magnetic media is
still used by then).


I doubt that hydrogen would ever be used for hard drive atmospheres.
Two phrases, "hydrogen wants to be free", and "hydrogen embrittlement"
come to mind.


And why the components sealed within the drive would have to be hydrogen
resistant. In another post I noted helium is inert, hydrogen is not.

BTW, there is still helium production in the USA.


There is no production of helium. There is only extraction of existing
and limited sources.

One of the Kansas natural gas fields has a large portion of helium in
it. They separate it from the natural gas and sell it.


Yep, just extraction of a non-renewable resource.

SSDs will become more attractive when helium prices soar either due to
increased rarity or artificially due to legislation, like we saw with
R12 refrigerant but, in the case of helium, to protect the dwindling
supplies to critial usage.
  #14  
Old May 23rd 18, 11:24 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
Tom Del Rosso[_6_]
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Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

VanguardLH wrote:
Helium is a LIMITED resource. Depletion is estimated in about 25
years.


There might be more than expected, because it can form compounds under
extreme pressure.

It can't form chemical bonds, but compounds without bonds.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ird-compounds/

All you have to do is drill to the center of the earth.



  #15  
Old May 24th 18, 03:24 AM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
VanguardLH[_2_]
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Posts: 1,297
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

Tom Del Rosso wrote:

VanguardLH wrote:
Helium is a LIMITED resource. Depletion is estimated in about 25
years.


There might be more than expected, because it can form compounds under
extreme pressure.

It can't form chemical bonds, but compounds without bonds.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ird-compounds/

All you have to do is drill to the center of the earth.


The cost of which to reach depths of sufficient pressure to have capture
helium atoms would be extremely expensive raising the price of helium
beyond the financial reach of anyone. There is what can be done. There
is what is achievable. And there's what is affordable. Are you going
to buy a helium-filled 1 TB drive that costs 6 million dollars?
  #16  
Old May 24th 18, 03:59 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
[email protected]
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Posts: 35
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

On Wed, 23 May 2018 21:24:27 -0500, VanguardLH wrote:

Are you going
to buy a helium-filled 1 TB drive that costs 6 million dollars?


Congress would need at least 10-million of them......
  #17  
Old May 24th 18, 04:43 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
Mark Perkins
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Posts: 84
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

On Wed, 23 May 2018 21:24:27 -0500, VanguardLH wrote:

Tom Del Rosso wrote:

VanguardLH wrote:
Helium is a LIMITED resource. Depletion is estimated in about 25
years.


There might be more than expected, because it can form compounds under
extreme pressure.

It can't form chemical bonds, but compounds without bonds.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ird-compounds/

All you have to do is drill to the center of the earth.


The cost of which to reach depths of sufficient pressure to have capture
helium atoms would be extremely expensive raising the price of helium
beyond the financial reach of anyone. There is what can be done. There
is what is achievable. And there's what is affordable. Are you going
to buy a helium-filled 1 TB drive that costs 6 million dollars?


I'd try to wait for it to go on sale. ;-)
I'd hate to blow most of my retirement account on a single drive.

 




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