Gas Detection is often necessary or desirable for a number of reasons. The use of a gas monitoring system, with appropriate action taken if dangerous levels of gases are detected, can help to prevent an explosion or can help to prevent worker injury or exposure to toxic gases. Action can be taken, and initiated automatically by the gas monitor, to help prevent the gas level from rising further. Such action could be the automatic shutoff of gas valves, turning on a ventilation fan, shutting down a process, or audible and visual alarms to alert and evacuate personnel. In some situations, the gas monitor is used for process control. RKI gas monitors are generally intended for worker and plant safety, and are not intended for process control use where high levels of gases or vapors may be present all the time. Some examples of common gas monitoring applications are as follows.
The Oxygen level in normal fresh air is approximately 21% Volume. Reduced Oxygen levels can cause dizziness in workers and potential passing out. If levels are too low it can cause serious brain damage or death. In some working or underground environments, low Oxygen conditions can be formed either by displacement of the Oxygen by another gas, or by consumption of the Oxygen in the area by a chemical or biological process. An Oxygen monitor can help to prevent injury or death by providing an early warning of reduced Oxygen concentration. Typically a low Oxygen alarm is triggered if the Oxygen level drops below 19.5% Volume (the OSHA mandated level), and personnel can be evacuated until the problem is properly investigated and resolved.
Flammable gases and vapors pose a threat of explosion, which can maim or kill personnel and cause property damage. Typically first alarm levels are set to 10% LEL (this is 10% of the amount of gas necessary to cause an explosion, and is the OSHA mandated first alarm level). If gas sources are automatically shut off, or ventilation fans turned on, it can prevent the gas level from reaching a potentially flammable level.
Toxic gases such as H2S or CO can be present in refinery or petrochemical applications, parking garages, and many other situations. Monitoring of these gases, and appropriate action taken if alarm levels are exceeded, can help to prevent injury or death. In Semiconductor plants, and many other plants and factories, often (toxic) gases are used in a process or can be generated by a process. Monitoring of these gases can help to alert personnel to potentially dangerous situations.
In Semiconductor plants, many highly toxic and flammable gases are used in the manufacturing processes. Gas cabinets, valve manifold boxes, and semiconductor fabrication tools, are generally heavily ventilated with ducts drawing air away from these devices. Gas monitoring of the exhaust ducts can provide an early indication of a leak prior to its entering the general work space where it could endanger worker health.
Many plants, factories, tunnels, parking garages, underground vaults, storage facilities, and a wide variety of other situations, have the potential for having dangerous gases or vapors present. RKI offers a wide selection of equipment to enable us to solve almost any gas monitoring safety related application.