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Industrial Ultrasonic Leak Detectors

Updated on February 19, 2012

A Gas Leak Explosion

An industrial ultrasonic leak detector might have prevented this catastrophe
An industrial ultrasonic leak detector might have prevented this catastrophe | Source

Ultrasonic Leak Detection Equipment

A gas leak can be a hazardous, expensive, or just plain annoying situation that can cause a lot of grief both for the person or company experiencing the leak and also for the person tasked with the job to investigate and fix the gas leak in question. Every tradesman knows, whether your everyday handyman or the industiral mechanic, that the for the job makes all the difference in repair work. Industrial ultrasonic leak detectors can really take the guess work out of searching for the ever elusive gas leak whether it is a hole in a home pipe that is leaking the telltale rotten egg smell of a natural gas leak or something like a large-scale gas leak at an oil refinery facility. Industrial ultrasonic leak detectors are a must-have companion toolkit for safety inspectors, or for process control operators looking to reduce total costs at a plant. Ultrasonic leak detection equipment is also useful for leaks not involving gases. Plumbers can make good use of an ultrasonic leak detector in tracking down CPV waterline or copper piping that is causing a troublesome slab leak for a homeowner or business. Air conditioner service men can find ultrasonic tools useful in finding refrigerant leaks. Customers will be more receptive to repairmen who carry the proper tool and that are able to repair a leak without demolishing a wall or floor or disassembling an entire machine. Ultrasonic leak detectors make use of an interesting law of physics to find even the smallest nanometer pinhole leaks that other detectors miss.

In order to understand how an ultrasonic leak detector works, it is best to begin with the fundamentals of sound physics. Humans have a sense of hearing that, like the other 5 senses, is limited to a specific range. The exact figures can vary, but generally it is agreed that most human ears can pick up sound in a hearing range of about 20Hz to 20,000Hz (20kHZ). These limits create the audible range thresholds within which humans can hear sound waves. Below the lower limit of humans the frequency range is now as infrasound and above the limit it is known as ultrasound. Most gas leaks (and other leaks) create a noise that is in an ultrasonic range of about 25kHz to 10.1MHz. The industrial ultrasonic leak detectors are able to discriminate between the sound of a leak and the audible background noise that is inherent in any environment. This will usually sound an alarm or reshape the sound wave into a human audible form that can be heard in the headphones of the leak detector device. Most of these types of detectors do not actually measure the gas concentration in the immediate atmosphere, but they are usually able to extrapolate the leak rate based on the specific frequency of sound that is encountered and the pressure of the gas being investigated.

Fugitive emissions can be an important area of monitoring for enterprises and companies. There can often be a lot of money saving to be had from tracking stray leaks and the fugitive emissions. Not only that, but in order to stay in compliance with governmental regulations and meet safety and pollution standards it is critical that every business that handles such materials has an industrial ultrasonic leak detector on hand. An area where the ultrasonic type of detector especially shines over the other leak detection alternatives (electrochemical detectors, infrared point detectors, holographic detectors, etc) is on outside piping and machinery. In an outdoors environment it is often hard for a standard sensor to be put in place because the gas can easily dissipate into the atmosphere and not sound an alarm or reading on a sensor. Any facility that encompasses a great quantity of outdoor piping would make good use of an industrial ultrasonic leak detector.

Gas detection methods have come a long way since the days of the coal miners using canaries to detect life threatening gas leaks. Indeed, no canary has to die in the name of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or methane detection anymore. Arm yourself with an ultrasonic replacement.


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