As humans need air to survive, that's the same way air is particularly important to the overall functionality of a hard drive. The air-filled in the hard drive helps to foster a fine synergy between the read/write head and the platters to maintain certain storage capacity.
For a long time running, the air has been harnessed to fill the hard drives, not until 2013, that the first Helium Hard drive was produced. The rationale behind producing a Helium-filled hard drive was centred around how lightweight helium is - as you may already know, there is no gaseous substance as lightweight as helium. The lightweight weight property of helium is supposed to help the hard drive struggle less to perform.
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Some Of The Perks Of Helium-Filled Hard Drives Over Air-Filled Hard Drives
Before we go into the business of whether helium hard drives leak, let's get into some of the perks of helium-filled hard drives over air-filled hard drives.
Larger Storage Capacity
It is such a delight to see that now, you can have a hard drive with a capacity of tens of terabytes. It is almost too good to be true as a matter of fact, because, some years ago, this was practically impossible to achieve. Before now, the number of plates that could be allowed in a hard drive was minimal and this was as a result of how heavy air is.
With helium, considering how light it is, it is now possible to compress quite a number of plates in one hard drive, eventually yielding a high-capacity hard drive. So essentially, a lighter atmospheric condition in the hard drives allowed for increased compressing of plates, which in turn shoots up the storage capacity.
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As it is normal in a hard drive, spinning occurs which is commonly at a speed of 7200 rpm for air-filled hard drives. Because of how thick the disks are for air-filled hard drives, the spinning is more turbulent as opposed to what is attained with helium-filled hard drives which have thinner disks. So the usual annoying creaking sound you are used to hearing when your air-filled hard drives are operating rarely happens with helium-filled hard drives, solely because of how they are set up. It would suffice to note that the turbulent way air-filled hard drives operate attributes to how susceptible it is to imminent damage.
You would naturally expect the running speed of a helium-filled hard drive to be faster than that of an air-filled hard drive. This is a no-brainer, the less power it takes for the plates to rotate, the higher the speed will be, and the better they will function at.
Do Helium Filled Hard Drives Leak?
There are scientific bases to back the concerns that trigger the above question. I mean, Helium is known to be the lightest gas known to man and probably the easiest to escape a container it is contained in. But trust science to always come with a way out of any possible problem; isn't that how most of the laudable innovations that we have come to enjoy came into play? It is important to note that replacing helium with air in hard drives has been an experiment that has been running for a long time before the advent of a helium-filled hard drive that came to fore in 2013.
That experiment like most experiments that came about as a success faced quite a number of challenges and was recorded as a failure multiple times before the one time that it became an obvious success. Thankfully, the brains behind the study didn't back out, because we would have missed out on the pleasure of enjoying a memory capacity that is only made possible with helium-filled hard drives.
It would suffice to note that the likelihood of helium hard drives leakage to the point of damage is very slim and that is because the helium is placed in a hermetically sealed enclosure. This enclosure makes it very difficult for the gas to permeate out of the case.
Another thing you should also have in mind is that the drive will certainly not function well if there is very little helium as a result of leaks, because there needs to be a certain fly height of the read/write head obtained for it to function well.
Companies who produce helium-filled hard drives back their products with a 5-year warranty, this is because they are confident in their technology that traps helium. So if helium-filled hard drives leak as most people claim it does, it will be rare to find such a warranty and it would be even harder for the hard drive to function at optimum for those number of years.
I hope this article has helped you find clarity as regards the question this article was centred on answering.