Gas detection is crucial. Depending upon your job or industry, exposure to harmful or lethal gases may be a normal part of every work day, in which case you rely on gas detectors for protection. Early warning of the presence of a harmful gas can provide many key advantages, such as:

  • Protecting the user and others in the area from explosions or fires.
  • Minimizing the risk of breathing harmful asphyxiant gases. Even short durations of exposure can result in physiological effects, such as nausea and headache.
  • Improving the organization’s safety record.
  • Protecting property and assets. 

The Importance of Sensor Housing

Gas detectors come in many forms, such as a catalytic bead, non-dispersive infrared, and micro electromechanical sensor systems (MEMS). And while each of these technologies has unique applications and strengths, they all have housings. These housings are part of the product design and ensure quality management by allowing ambient air to reach the sensor. Air must reach the sensor for the sensor to determine the level and type of hazardous gases in the vicinity. The housing protects the sensitive elements of the sensor while also allowing contact with gases.  

But on a broader scale, quality sensor housings can improve system performance, safety, accuracy, and efficiency. The housing enhances each of these performance objectives by achieving the following:

  • System Performance: A quality sensor housing design can improve the speed of response time. When poorly designed sensor housings are used, it may take longer for the flow of gases to reach the sensor.

Excellent sensor housings should allow the sensor to respond in seconds. The unit can then process the data using built-in software and deliver a reading to the user. This entire process should happen quickly so that users are alerted almost immediately of the presence of danger. The housing supports all of these functions. 

  • Safety: Sensor housings should protect the sensitive and fragile equipment required to deliver accurate readings. Durable housing options are especially important with extreme conditions. You will also want housing that can withstand motion and jolting.

A suitable sensor housing design can protect internal components in wet, dusty, acidic, and caustic environments. Stainless steel or aluminum construction can optimize environmental protection. This optimization is crucial because, without sensor housing protections, the sensor could become damaged. And the damage may result in an inaccurate or faulty reading and potentially a failure to warn the user of hazardous conditions.

  • Accuracy:  Sensor housings that protect from the elements ensure reliable readings. Reliable readings are crucial in determining any corrective action that must be taken for safety reasons. Selecting a sensor from a reputable company with quality management processes can ensure that the sensor is accurate and reliable.
  • Efficiency: Detecting hazardous gases quickly can be a matter of life and death. Even a few extra seconds of warning can substantially increase the odds of averting a disaster. Sensors with quality housing and design and process connections can improve efficiency. These sensors provide a fast response, thus allowing the operators to act quickly based on reliable environmental data.

When selecting a sensor and elements of its housing, it’s also important to remember that some extreme locations require additional features. Class I locations often require detector designs that account for surrounding hazardous substances’ flammable and explosive potential.

This requirement means that housings should be certified to ensure that they will not change in extreme temperatures. If they did, it could create a small gap that would not contain an internal explosion. 

Given these specific requirements, sensor housings, or process adaptations, come in multiple options. For instance, Mettler Toledo offers the following options, among others:

  • In-line static and retractable sensor housings
  • Stationary sensor housings
  • Flow-through sensor housings
  • Retractable sensor housings
  • Immersion sensor housings

To ensure that NevadaNano’s full line of MPS sensors performs optimally, the company provides two different housing options. The Industrial standard of a Series 4, and the small slimline Mini. Both housings compare to the leading products in the market and leverage advanced technology to support sensor performance. 

For the MPS Flammable Gas Sensor, the sensor housing protects against extreme temperatures and environmental conditions. The housing configuration supports real-time measurements and compensation for temperature, pressure, and humidity. Further, this sensor can deliver accurate LEL measurements for single gas exposures and multi-gas mixtures, including hydrogen. Additional benefits include:

  • Immunity from poisoning
  • No drift or decay
  • Built-in self-test
  • No calibration required
  • A two-year warranty with a life expectancy that can exceed ten years
  • S4 is certified intrinsically safe
  • Low lifetime ownership costs
  • No false alarms

This sensor comes in two different designs that leverage the benefits of both housing models. The S4 is intrinsically safe for certified applications, and the cost-effective Mini targets various applications. Sensor readings are output on a UART digital bus. This process provides industry-first gas classification. They can also work with analog outputs for easy integration and improved performance with existing systems. 

The MPS Gas Sensors also leverage the same two designs to deliver an accurate and reliable sensor for detecting combustible gases. The presence of a flammable gas causes changes in the thermodynamic properties of the air/gas mixture. The transducer measures the changes to deliver sensor data that reports accurate concentrations. 

The MPS platform is designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions and deliver the best performance with low false-positive rates. The swift response time provides users with an output in seconds, which gives them critical time if hazardous conditions exist. The housing for these sensors helps to keep them safe, accurate, and reliable. Additionally, it helps to uphold immunity to poisoning. 

A reliable gas sensor is critical in keeping some business operations safe. More importantly, it keeps employees safe. To get the most reliable sensor on the market, consider the quality and design functions of all sensor elements. While the housing might seem like it serves a less important role, this component keeps the sensor working well.

With NevadaNano MPS Gas Sensors, you can be sure that all components are made to last. You will also have a design that you can trust.