Calibration Gas Shelf Life
Why is calibration gas important?
When using your instruments for gas detection, monitors should be properly calibrated or your readings may be inaccurate. To properly calibrate your device, the user will need to use a specific concentration of the gas trying to be detected. This is known as a “calibration gas”, which comes in cylinders that are usually made of steel or aluminium.
However, it’s important to know that calibration gases are a perishable product and therefore do have a shelf life. If the gas is expired, the user won’t be able to properly calibrate their monitor and will generate inaccurate results. Cylinders will list their expiration date, requiring someone to check before performing calibration procedures. Users should also replace calibration gases according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Using the correct gas for your detector
When calibrating your instrument, it is important to provide a reference point for the device to base measurements on. Some detectors are able to auto-calibrate sensors if presented with the manufacturer specified known starting point. If your device does not feature an auto-calibration, it is important to purchase the correct gas for your detector. Best practices are to calibrate your monitor at the start of every use or shift. Following the manufacturer’s calibration instructions, if the detector fails to calibrate or the results do not match what’s listed on the calibration gas cylinder, the user will need to reset and re-zero the monitor before trying again.
Precautions to take
Users should take precautions when using calibration gases in the field. It’s important to know that all calibration gases come with warranties from the manufacturer, which includes a “best if used by” date. You should never use gas mixtures once they’ve passed this date. Employees should be in the habit of checking the expiration date before heading out into the field to ensure the gas hasn’t expired. If no expiration date can be found or you’re not sure if your gases have passed their shelf life, workers or another representative should contact the manufacturer for more information.
Keeping a track record or log of your calibration gases is another way to regulate the use and shelf life. Be aware and log the day the gas was ordered, when it arrived and when your company began to use it. This allows you to refer back to this information when checking to make sure they are still effective. Also record and label the properties of these gases, such as whether they are reactive or non-reactive, flammable, highly pressurised, and other related hazards. If your training program for the gases in your application does not cover the proper usage guidelines and safety information in the event of a leak or exposure, be sure to include this with the log sheet and consider implementing that into your gas detection program to prevent workplace injuries and other harmful scenarios. Only trained personnel should use calibration gases in the field. Any error, big or small, could put the site and team at risk. Personnel should also look out for scratched or worn labels, cracks, leaks, and other signs of damage.
The shelf life of these gases often depends on a variety of factors, such as how and where you store them. Best practices always agree to store them away from high-traffic areas to reduce the chances of damage and in temperature-controlled environments. Use mounting brackets to keep your test gases in place as users should never slide, toss, or drag those cylinders. Also consider how they are transported if they need to go onsite, as they shouldn’t move around or knock into each other during transit.
Creating a first-in-last-out storage process allows the team to pull out the oldest cylinders first and make the most of their safety equipment, preventing good gases from expiring and saving operational costs.
Control Equipment Pty Ltd offers a variety of Portable and Fixed easy-to-use, robust, and configurable gas detectors capable of detecting both toxic and non-toxic gases for diverse applications. Our innovative products are designed to provide ease of use and implementation to comply with varying demands and regulations. The instruments and devices we create are also focused on achieving ideal conditions for all work environments. To enquire about gas detection solutions within your application or specific options for ideal ambient air environments, contact Control Equipment Pty Ltd today.