Gas detectors are employed in a number of different commercial and industrial industries. A gas detector’s main application is to ensure commercial and home safety, so they’re an essential early warning system for leaks and exposure. Of course, a gas detector can be used in any situation where gas detection would be valuable, and portable gas detectors are extremely helpful due to their ease of use. For information on how portable gas detection monitors work, continue reading below.
How Gas Detecting Devices Work
Gas detecting devices are specifically used to detect either combustible gases or toxic gases. Common combustible gases include hydrogen, methane, ethylene, ammonia, and butane. Among the more common toxic gases are carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and chlorine. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious health hazard and is responsible for many deaths every year, so it’s one of the areas of greatest concern, especially for residential safety.
For detection of combustible gases, a gas detector will utilize catalytic oxidation or infrared sensors. For catalytic systems, the sensor will probably be manufactured using a platinum-treated wire coil. When a combustible gas enters into contact with the catalytic surface, it becomes oxidized, and the resistance for the wiring is altered due to the heat that’s generated. Often, a bridge circuit will indicate the resistance change. As you know, infrared sensors are commonly employed for detecting changes in heat, so they’re an excellent addition to detectors for combustible gases. When an infrared sensor (or IR detector) has a combustible gas present in its path, the gas interferes with the transmission being sent between the receiver and the transmitter. The changes in the light helps to indicate which gas is being detected.
For toxic gases, electrochemical detectors are traditionally used. The electrochemical sensors can be remarkably sensitive, and transmit their warning signals by way of electrical currents. When a gas is detected, signals are sent by electrodes. Another option is metal oxide semiconductors, which employ gas-sensitive films typically composed of a tungsten or tin oxide. The film is reactive with gases, which can trigger the detector when sufficient levels of certain gases are present. Metal oxide semiconductors are sometimes preferred since they are sensitive to a number of different gases and can operate in low humidity. Portable gas detection monitors are immensely beneficial, and they help to save lives and property around the world every day.