Helium Quench Pipes
“ICE Ltd can design, manufacture and install Helium Quench Pipes for MRI scanners either as a one-off project or as part of the mechanical works of an MRI fitout.”
MRI scanners are cooled with liquid helium, which turns to gas and expands rapidly above minus 260°C. A quench pipe is needed to ensure that in the unlikely event of the helium turning to gas, it would be safely dispersed away from the building.
The materials used for MRI helium quench pipes must withstand the minimum temperature of 12 degree kelvin (-261°C). This requires stainless steel with a minimum wall thickness of 0.5mm, all joints to be helium gas and water tight, and preferably welded.
In the event of the scanner quenching the evaporating helium, gas warms up and expands, meaning the helium quench pipe must increase to a larger diameter vent pipe away from the magnet.
The helium quench pipe must be thermally insulated externally from the Examination Room, but inside of the building thermal insulation is not required.