Providing Safe Sensing Solutions for Hazardous Applications

With applications across a wide range of processes and industries, pressure sensors are being used in increasingly challenging environments. As each new challenge is addressed, the engineers and designers of pressure sensing technology must continually enhance the capabilities of pressure sensors to solve these problems.

Challenges

Some challenges however, have proved particularly hard to surmount, for example, providing sensors that can continue to perform reliably under the high pressures found in applications such as gas distribution, gas compressors, and wellhead automation. In such applications, safety is of the utmost importance, and component failure could result in a serious accident.

Many sensors would be unable to cope with the challenges such as cavitation or the extreme spikes in pressure that these applications can present and would thus fail to provide efficiency. Engineers must tackle the complications these hazardous conditions present, not only in ensuring safety but also in the installation and replacement of components, which can be particularly difficult.

If sensors need to be constantly replaced, the operator cost is increased, and maintenance engineers will be regularly exposed to difficult and dangerous conditions, posing a threat to safety and requiring unwelcome periods of downtime. In response to this, designers have been striving to produce exceptionally reliable and robust sensors with a long and uninterrupted lifespan, while meeting the approval standards for ‘Intrinsically Safe’ certification.

This is an established level of protection, defined for the safe operation of electronic equipment in a range of explosive atmospheres. Individual locations within hazardous environments are divided into Class, Division, and Group, as a means to indicate the presence of flammable gases or vapors, ignitable fibers, dust, or filings present under typical or potential operating conditions.

Intrinsically Safe items are designed and certified to encapsulate or eliminate any components that can feasibly produce sparks, or which could generate significant amounts of heat, which could result in the ignition of areas containing flammable gasses, dusts, or fuels.

31CS and 32CS Heavy Duty Series Pressure Transmitters

Gems Sensors & Controls has addressed the lack of components which can be safely applied in hazardous applications such as wellhead automation, gas compressors and gas distribution with the 31CS and 32CS Heavy Duty Series pressure transmitters. These provide an Intrinsically Safe option, suitable for use in high pressure applications in which safety is critical.

The Gems solution minimizes risk and the amount of downtime during installation as the 31CS and 32CS series sensors can both be fitted directly to pipework. The compact construction of both series makes them ideal for installations in which space is at a premium. CS Series transmitters are certified for operation in each of these areas: Class I, Division 1, Groups C and D; Class I, Zone 0 Ex ia IIB T4 Ga; Class I, Zone 0 AEx ia IIB T4 Ga. In addition, these sensors are certified for Europe (ATEX) as the 31IS and 32IS.

Built using stainless-steel wetted parts, the 31CS and 32CS series contain pressure sensing elements fabricated using proven sputtered thin film technology, as well as ASIC electronics for signal conditioning and thermal compensation.

Almost identical in their compact and durable design, the 31CS and 32CS are distinguished by the thicker diaphragm and a pressure restrictor on the 32CS series. This allows the 32CS to withstand extreme spikes in pressure, which improves its overall reliability as well as its stability in pulsating applications.

To enable this solution to be used in the highest number of applications, Gems has made the 31CS and 32CS available with a broad range of factory configured settings. In addition to this, depending on the application, the sensors can be configured to the customer’s individual requirements. Both models can withstand pressures as high as 30,000 psi, and come with a variety of electrical connectors and pressure ports, making them compatible with most standardized machinery.

Gems has both the knowledge and experience to help OEMs at a high technical level, including the design, prototyping and manufacture of bespoke components or integrated sub-assemblies. This improves the overall design and functionality of the end product.

The company sets high standards within its design and manufacturing processes in order to ensure the best possible quality standards are met, and has a long history of supplying OEMs with components and engineering expertise.

With such a depth of experience to draw upon, Gems continues to meet strict regulations and specifications for safety approvals, in order to provide novel solutions, reducing risk and improving efficiency in hazardous environments.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Gems Sensors and Controls.

For more information on this source, please visit Gems Sensors and Controls.

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