What Is Calibration Gas?

Many businesses have detection systems that help them ensure their workers are not exposed to harmful substances in the air. The problem is that they need to have a way to keep the detectors accurate and in good shape. For that, they need to use calibration gases. You may wonder, “what is calibration gas?” or, “how do I pick the right calibration gas?” Here is more information about that:

What Is Calibration Gas?

Before you can properly select the right calibration gas, it is important to be able to answer the question, “what is calibration gas?” Detection systems have to checked and calibrated from time to time to make sure they are working properly. A detector that is not working properly will not be able to correctly assess when people are in actual danger. The way to check this is to use a calibration gas to look at how accurate the detection device is. By exposing the detector to a verified concentration of a gas (the calibration gas), you can see how accurate its readings are.

What is the best way to pick the right calibration gas for a detector that only detects one gas?

If your detection equipment is only set up to monitor for one kind of gas, you can use a gas that is flammable, a toxic gas, or oxygen. The brand of detector or gas should have no impact on the outcome of the test. If you are working with a gas detector that monitors for one gas and need one flammable gas, a methane calibration or one with iso-butane work well. If the equipment is set up for oxygen, nitrogen is a good option. Lastly, if you are looking to check for poisonous substances, you need to check for the exact substance you are worried about. For example, if you are concerned about hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is very dangerous, you need to use that to check your detector. The same goes for carbon monoxide (CO).

What if my gas detection equipment can detect more than one gas?

When you are testing equipment that can detect more than one gas, you do need to pay attention to the brand. Every company that makes these detectors has its own custom calibration gas standards. Your detector should come with a manual that will describe and detail what you need to do. Typically, the gas combinations are similar. In most cases, they include oxygen (balanced with nitrogen), a flammable gas, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide. The main gases that are used for the flammable are either iso-butane or methane. Different companies put in different concentrations of oxygen and toxic gases.

Is there a specific size of cylinder do I need?

Most often, disposable calibration gas cylinders are used. These disposable cylinders come in several sizes such as 10 liters, 34 liters, 58 liters, and 110 liters for the multi-gas detection systems. If you are working with single gas detection sensors, you can get any of these sizes. For multi-gas detection, you are limited to 34 liters, 59 liters, and 110 liters. What size you need is dependent on what your actual needs are.

What kind of calibration gas accessories do I need for my detector?

Different kinds of gas detection equipment need different kinds of accessories. If you devices use diffusion and not suction pumps, you need your cylinders with the calibration gas(es) to have manual regulators. This lets you control how much gas is released. Cylinders for these come in all sizes (listed above).

For detectors that use suction pumps, also called “pump type detectors,” you want to get a flow regulator that is “on-demand.” These regulators operate automatically and work with the pump that is in the detector itself. These come in three sizes: 34 liters, 58 liters, and 110 liters.

As you can see, asking the question, “what is calibration gas?” Leads to more and more questions. It is crucial for the safety of anyone in your workspace that all of your safety equipment is working as it should. This is true for your fire and smoke detectors as well as those meant to protect workers from things that can neither be seen or smelled. By keeping your gas detectors properly calibrated, everyone is safe.