Given the critical nature of gas detectors, it is important to know they are always working correctly. Many factors can affect the performance of gas detection sensors, and all sensors will fail eventually, so users must be vigilant and prepared to change their sensors when required.
The life and/or performance of gas detection sensors can be affected by various factors, including:
- Interfering gases
- Physical factors, e.g. excessive vibration or impact
- Contamination of or damage to the sensor e.g. by incorrect cleaning products
- Contamination of filters or sinters e.g. by dust, sand or pests (yes spiders!)
- Exposure to poisoning/inhibiting compounds even when the sensor is not powered.
There are multiple sensing technologies available, and the life expectancy of a sensor is commonly linked to the technology employed. Electrochemical sensors tend to have a shorter life expectancy as compared to Infrared (IR) or catalytic sensors. The type of gas being detected can also have an impact of the life expectancy, the more ‘exotic’ gases (for example chlorine or ozone) tends to be shorter than that of sensors monitoring the more common gases (carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide for example).
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