Is Your Calibration Gas Accurate? Here’s What You Need to Know to Make Sure

The global specialty gases market is forecast to surpass $14 billion by 2026. According to a market research analyst at Technavio, the global specialty gases market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than six percent between 2017 and 2021.

All major gas manufacturers provide specialty pure gases in several grades, ranging in high purity (99.998 percent min. purity) to ultra-high purity (99.999 percent min. purity) to research grade (99.999 percent purity) and depending on the size of the container and the type of gas, the product costs can run from $100 to as much as $3,000.

It might be costly now, but better days could be ahead. A Grand View Research report predicts that cost reduction, yield improvement and performance optimization are projected to drive the global specialty gas market over a six-year span from 2014-2020.

With all of the potential the specialty gas market holds in the coming years, it’s important in the present to make sure a company’s specialty gas equipment is working properly. That includes the use of calibration gas as a comparative standard in the calibration of specialty gas equipment and instruments. Better calibration, leads to more accurate readings on various pieces of specialty gas equipment.

The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) recommends more frequent gas calibration testing if environmental conditions that could affect instrument performance like sensor poisons. ISEA testing standards allow for less frequent calibration verification under certain conditions, but the interval between testing should never be more than a month.

Written records of calibration are recommended to give users a history of a particular piece of specialty gas equipment and whether or not it’s reliable or prone to errors.

To check the accuracy of a piece of specialty gas equipment, there are two things that can be done: a bump test or a calibration.

With a bump test, a piece of equipment is exposed to a certain and known concentration of test gas and calibration is verified if that equipment’s response falls within and acceptable range. A piece of specialty gas equipment should be zeroed before testing to allow for the best possible results.

A full calibration involves the adjustment of an instrument’s reading to come in line with a known gas concentration.

To clarify the use of both methods, the ISEA has said the following: “A bump test or full calibration of direct-reading portable gas monitors should be made before each day’s use in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, using an appropriate test gas. If the instrument fails a bump test, it must be adjusted through a full calibration before it is used.”

A full reading of ISEA’s statement can be found here

To get a better understanding of gas monitors and how the calibration process works and specialty gas regulators, Enviro-Equipment and Cross Company can help you get started.

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