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Which Combustible Gas Sensor is Right: Catalytic Bead or Infrared?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2020 in Catalytic & Infrared Sensors, Combustible Gases | 0 comments

Do you regularly work with combustible gases? From fuel sources such as methane and propane to heavier hydrocarbons such as ethane and propylene, combustible liquids and gases pose a number of risks for your facility. Understanding the technology behind detecting combustible gases is important, especially when installing a gas detection system. Depending on your environment and application, there may be advantages to either combustible gas sensor, catalytic bead or infrared.

Which combustible gas sensor is right for your facility? Learn the differences between a catalytic bead and an infrared sensor to choose the best detection system.

Combustible gas sensors can be designed with two different technologies, catalytic bead sensors or infrared sensors. Catalytic bead sensors detect gas by burning gas molecules on a sensor element. Comparatively, infrared sensors absorb hydrocarbon gas through infrared light at specific frequencies. Learn the advantages of either sensor to find out which technology is best for your work applications.

Catalytic Bead Sensor Advantages

Inexpensive to manufacture and highly reliable, catalytic bead sensors have dominated the market until just recently. Designed with sensor elements that heat up when combustible gas is present, catalytic bead sensors respond to any combustible gas or vapor. With capabilities to detect a broad range of combustible gases, catalytic bead sensors remain a quality choice for gas detection systems.

Pro Tip: Combustible gas detectors measure combustible gas in a range of 0-100% of the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) value. Be sure to know the LEL limits of the gases you work with to maintain accurate gas detection.

Infrared Sensor Advantages

With increasing popularity in the last two decades, smart infrared (IR) sensors have the advantage of longer calibration and a unique self-test capability. Infrared sensors work by allowing gas to pass between a source of infrared light and a specially designed receiver. When hydrocarbon molecules pass in front of the IR source, they block some of the infrared energy. As a result, the receiver’s output drops and the microprocessor (inside the sensor) generates an output proportional to the amount of absorption.  

Choosing the Right Sensor

Depending on your application, each sensor has its own disadvantages. Infrared sensors can’t detect non-hydrocarbon gases such as hydrogen. In the same way, catalytic bead sensors are sensitive to contaminants and so risk having the atmosphere endanger their sensing elements. Due to the constant danger of explosion, it’s important to have a combustible gas detection system that is reliable, simple to operate, and easy to calibrate.

GDS Corp offers gas monitors that are equipped to support both catalytic bead and infrared sensors:



Unlike other detection systems, our design configurations give users the ability to easily switch between the different technologies. Designed specifically for combustible gases, both monitors feature interchangeable catalytic bead and SmartIR infrared sensors. That being said, you can rely on accurate detection, regardless of application, environment, or target gas.

Protect Your Business Facility

Like any hazardous gas in your environment, having an accurate and reliable gas detection system is crucial for protecting your workers. GDS Corp is proud to offer a number of customized solutions for your facility. Whether you’re offshore or in an industrial environment, our detection systems will quickly and reliably alert you of dangerous situations.

Is your gas detection system armed with combustible gas sensors? Connect with our sales team to find a solution that meets your needs.

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What Does A Catalytic Sensor Do?

Posted by on Oct 30, 2019 in Catalytic & Infrared Sensors | 0 comments

Since many industrial buildings, laboratories, and offshore drilling platforms have flammable gases such as carbon monoxide or natural gas on their premises, it is important they have sophisticated monitoring systems in place to make sure gas buildups or leaks are quickly detected and dealt with in a safe manner. For many facilities, this means installing catalytic-type gas sensors in and around areas where gas leaks or buildups are likely to occur. But as technology has changed in these sensors, safety personnel and engineers may have questions as to their capabilities. If you are part of this group, here are some important details about the features of these sensors.

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Catalyst Sensors: How They Work & What They Do

Posted by on Sep 14, 2019 in Catalytic & Infrared Sensors | 0 comments

Used in various work environments where natural gas or carbon monoxide buildups are possible, catalyst sensors are relied upon to keep workers safe on a daily basis. Designed to include the latest technology in terms of alarm systems, calibration methods, and ability to withstand harsh work environments, these sensors are accurate and reliable in almost any situation. But just as it is with other types of sensors, there are factors that come into play to ensure maximum efficiency once they are installed. In considering the use of a catalytic-type gas sensor for your facility, here are some key points to keep in mind.

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Combustible Gas Detection – Infrared Or Catalytic Beads?

Posted by on Sep 4, 2019 in Catalytic & Infrared Sensors, Combustion Leak Detector Kit | 0 comments

In work environments such as manufacturing plants or laboratories, it is important these areas have gas detection systems that can detect even the smallest amounts of gas. In situations where combustible gas is present, even a small leak that goes undetected could result in a fire or explosion. As numerous technological advances have been made regarding combustible hydrocarbon gas monitoring, much of the emphasis has been on infrared and catalytic bead sensors. If you are wondering about the differences between these combustible gas leak detectors and which would be best for your facility, here are some key points about each type.

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Understanding Catalytic LEL Combustible Gas Sensor

Posted by on Aug 9, 2019 in Catalytic & Infrared Sensors, LEL Detector | 0 comments

When combustible gases are part of the mix, sophisticated systems should be in place to detect dangerous levels of these gases. If this is not the case, the result can be a massive fire or explosion. To keep this from happening, companies rely on catalytic gas detectors. But to make sure the detectors used are the best for a particular work environment, it is important to understand how these detectors function.

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What Is A Catalytic Sensor And Why Do You Need One?

Posted by on Jul 12, 2019 in Catalytic & Infrared Sensors | 0 comments

When choosing the right gas detection system for an industrial complex, laboratory, manufacturing plant, or other work setting, many factors must be considered. While cost and reliability are always important, so are such factors as work environments, system maintenance, and ease of use. For many companies, once these factors are closely examined, they often select catalytic bead sensors to keep their employees and facilities safe. If you are wondering what is a catalytic sensor and why you would need one, here are some facts to help in your decision-making process.

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