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Gas Detection: All you Need to Know

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When it comes to an industrial or residential construction project gasses aren’t always a top priority.However, this doesn’t mean that that is any less dangerous. When handling a gas, the best thing to is to what your handling because different gasses have different properties and react differently. 

What is a Gas? 

Having a solid foundation and starting with the basics is always a good thing. Oxygen is the main gas we deal with every day and carbon dioxide is second on the list. Knowing about different types of gasses help immensely when it comes to gas detection. 

No all gas is lethal and not all lethal gas is toxic unless your breath is a certain amount. Every project is different and so therefore the gasses used in machines and surrounding environment is not always the same. Harmful gasses can be produced by many things from manmade machines to natural incidents. Immediately identifying a toxic gas is the main purpose of gas detection. 

Some harmful gasses give off pungent smells and these can be detected by our noses. However not all harmful gasses can be detected using our senses. 

Gas Detection 

As mentioned above some gasses can be detected using our sense of smell but some lethal gasses cannot be detected util it is too late. So then how do we know if we are exposed to a lethal gas or a mixture of gases that could cause an explosion. 

This detection is done by a gas detector or gas monitor. This is a device that has a sensor and can detect gases present in an area. The function of this device is quite simple. The sensors are programmed to alert uses if the specific gas is in the vicinity. 

The most common type of sensors used in the construction industry are Oxygen, Combustible (LEL) and Toxic. 

Oxygen sensors are used to measure oxygen levels as the name suggests. Toxic sensors as the name suggests are used to detect toxic gases like Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Hydrogen Sulphide(H2S) and Nitrogen Dioxide(NO2). Combustible sensors are used to detect hydrocarbon gases like Butane, Nonane, Methane, Hydrogen, Propane or High Hydrogen Content.  

How Do These Sensors Work? 

The way that these sensors work will depends on the various manufacturers. Different sensors use different methods to detect the gas. 

Electrochemical Sensors are mainly used to detect toxic gases. The principle behind this involves two electrodes. The first is immersed in a liquid electrolyte while the second is connected to anelectrical circuit. 

Catalytic Sensors are the latest type of gas detectors in the industry. They consist of a wire coil that is treated with platinum. This coil heats up due to oxidation. The change in resistance triggers a warning. 

Infrared sensors detect gases using a set of receivers and transmitters. A light is emitted by the transmitters and if the receiver is unable to detect this light due to a blockage by gas this willtrigger a warning. 

Metal Oxide Semiconductors are mainly used for toxic gases, especially to detect Carbon Monoxide. 

This is just a quick read on gas detection. Gas detection should be a top priority when it comes to the safety aspect of an industrial or residential project for the safety of everyone involved.

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