Across a plethora of industries, gases are used in a multitude of applications. Although the global market demand for gas increases by 2% every year and these gases can be vital for all kinds of operations, they can also pose dangers to those who work in these sectors. Gas detectors are utilized in order to keep these individuals safe. But in order to ensure they’re calibrated properly, organizations need a reliable disposable calibration gas supplier.
Calibration gases serve a different purpose from many other kinds of gases, but their accuracy is just as (if not more) important. In today’s post, we’ll talk about why this is — and what you’ll need to keep in mind to make certain the products you obtain from suppliers for disposable calibration gases will be safe upon use.
What is Calibration Gas?
Calibration gases, which are typically mixtures of gases designated as either reactive or non-reactive, are used as comparative standards to accurately measure the performance of certain types of equipment (such as gas monitors, detectors, or analyzers). To be classified as a calibration gas, the gas itself needs to have an unbroken chain of comparisons that indicate a national or international gas standard.
It’s essential that when you obtain these materials from suppliers for disposable calibration gas, you store them properly and use them within a timely period to ensure precise results. If you were to use the wrong type of calibration gas, for example, or a calibration gas that has expired, you will not be able to diagnose a problem correctly and may even create an unsafe environment.
How Long Does Calibration Gas Last?
While reactive gases contain some instability, non-reactive gases are stable under most conditions and aren’t impacted by moisture or other environmental factors. As a result, reactive gases typically don’t last as long as non-reactive calibration gases do.
Reactive gases include mixtures like hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, chlorine, and others. These reactive gases will usually come with a shelf life of one year or less, as an expired reactive calibration gas will experience decreased or missing concentrations. Suppliers for disposable calibration gases of this nature will usually be contained in aluminum cylinders and treated in order to alleviate reactivity. Examples of non-reactive gases include methane, pentane, propane, hexane, alkane and alkene hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Because these gases are more stable, their shelf life is usually three years. Your suppliers for disposable calibration gas will package these types of non-reactive gases in steel cylinders.
It is important to note that there are other factors that impact the shelf life of calibration gases, both reactive and non-reactive. The concentration of gases will impact how long a given calibration gas can be certified for; interestingly, having a higher concentration of a reactive gas may actually result in a longer shelf life than a calibration gas that has a lower reactive gas concentration. The gas cylinder size and quality can also have an effect on how long these calibration gases will last. In addition, there are certain calibration gases that will last only six to eight months, rather than a whole year. Some may last for only a few months. It’s vital to refer to the “best by” date stamped on these cylinders and to adhere to those recommendations to ensure accuracy and safety. If you see that the expiration dates on your calibration gas cylinders are quickly approaching, you’ll want to place an order for replacements and dispose of these cylinders as required once the expiration date has passed.
To learn more about calibration gases and how we can improve your gas monitoring with our products, please contact us today.