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Gas detection is a critical element for the safe manufacturing, handling and use of many industrial gases. Hydrogen Leak detection tapes are taking advantage of chemo-chromic reactions to quickly and efficiently identify leaks. The partial reduction of a catalysed transition metal oxide causes a colour change that makes the leak easy to detect and immediately fix.
Hydrogen's properties make it very hard to detect . It is light, odourless, colourless with a low ignition energy that can create invisible flames. That's why we need a reliable and low cost solution that detects unintended releases from pneumatic systems. Identifying them facilitates corrective actions and is an imperative preventive measure for Hydrogen applications.
Detection tapes are low cost, with a positive indication for both the presence and the absence of hydrogen and can be easily incorporated in any current system without requiring alterations or additional power sources. They are durable, hydrogen sensitive and work with as visual detectors.
The cross linking silicone adhesive ensures a no residue connection that resists UV and most corrosive chemicals and can be wrapped around irregular and unconventional shapes. Since silicone is a hydrogen permeable carrier, the pigment is accessible and changes when the need arises.
These tapes can be used in cabinet connections for routine checks so that leaks will be easily identifies during inspections. They are ideal for hydrogen supply connection points in fuelling stations. Being within visual range of inspection routes they can aid prioritising and expediting repairs based on quantity of alerts and maximising repair efficiency.
The leak rate and concentration determine the speed of color change.The effect is cumulative so even slow or small leaks can lead to significant colour change over a long period of time. Since the reaction is permanent and non reversible after hydrogen is detected, tape replacement is recommended after repair.
Leak detection tapes can be easily installed by on-site maintenance, inspection teams or equipment operators. They don't require any certified training and do not require power to operate. They can be used in unison with existing leak detection tools including sniffers and ultrasonic detectors.
Bubble testing is a simple spot test method with no continuous monitoring at low pressures.
Works well in stable environments with minimal temperature change. The background gas needs to have conductivity very different from hydrogen.
This method detects the heat of combustion and works well for low concentrations. It is not meant for pure hydrogen.
Those sensors use a liquid electrolyte. Varying temperatures can affects the gas diffusion, making the sensor unreliable.
Mass spectrometers are extremely sensitive and expensive. They require skilled operators and may have long response times.
Gas Chromatographs are similar to mass spectrometers and have the same "profile" with advantages and disadvantages
The ultrasonic technology is constantly improving, but it cannot determine the exact location of the leak and whether a combustible mixture is present.
The sensor relies on surface effects with a minimum oxygen concentration. While generally reliable, the performance degrades at lower temperatures.