Analysers: Diagnosing disasters and dilemmas


It’s a known fact that industrial gases are exceptionally important both within the industry and beyond. The safe control and regulation of these takes on a seriously critical role and it is gas detectors and analysers that are chiefly responsible for this, as explored by gasworld.

In the important and ever-growing industry of industrial gases, there can be a number of potentially explosive pitfalls or hazardous environments and situations.
Complex gas mixtures, combustible gases and highly toxic gases are all par for the course within the industry. Such hazardous atmospheres and environments need accurate assessment and control, therefore making the role of detection and analysis of immense importance. So what is an analyser and just how important are they?
While detectors, sensors and analysers are intrinsically linked, these devices are actually fundamentally different.

Gas sensors interact with a gas to initiate the measurement of its concentration and then provide output to a gas instrument to display the measurements. Sensors can output a measurement in a number of ways, including percent lower explosive limit (LEL), percent volume, trace, leakage or density.
An important specification for the detection and measurement of gases is the response time – the amount of time required from initial contact with the gas to the sensors processing of the signal. As well as this, other critical factors are distance and the flow rate, with the distance the maximum parameter from which the leak or gas source can be detected by the sensor, and the flow rate the necessary rate of air or gas flow across the sensor to produce a signal.

A sensor is the basic element or component within a detection product and differs for a diverse gas or application. So while a sensor may be seen as a basic technology in this area, an analyser often provides a more complete package.

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