In many types of work environments, having reliable and accurate gas detection systems for combustible gases is a must. Whether it’s confined spaces on an offshore platform or a research lab in a medical manufacturing company, having the best possible system to quickly detect high gas levels can help prevent a fire or explosion. For many companies, the best choices for combustible gas detection comes down to infrared or catalytic bead sensors. However, because there are many differences in these open path detectors, deciding between them can be difficult. To make the choice easier, here are some factors to consider before making your final decision.

How Much Do They Cost?

Since a company is always looking to get the best product for the lowest price, cost is often the first question when it comes to these sensors. If you’re wanting inexpensive open path gas detectors known for reliability, catalytic bead sensors are a good choice. However, if your company’s budget allows for a more expensive combustible gas detection system, infrared sensors may be right for your facility. Although they cost significantly more than catalytic bead sensors, an open path infrared gas detector requires very little maintenance once installed, which usually results in them paying for themselves after several years.

Calibration Procedures

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between infrared sensors and catalytic bead sensors is the calibration procedures associated with each. For catalytic bead sensors, employees will be needed to monitor and calibrate them on a regular basis, which may require additional employees and training. However, infrared sensors have many advanced technological features not found in catalytic bead sensors, and therefore require much less calibration.

Work Environments

When choosing between these open path gas detection systems, also carefully consider the work environment where they will be placed. For example, work areas that may regularly have high concentrations of gases, such as confined spaces on a drilling platform or in a manufacturing plant, may be better suited for infrared sensors. But for areas where this is not anticipated to be an issue, catalytic bead sensors are a good choice for many workplaces. However, as technology has been used more and more in gas detection systems, more companies are focusing on infrared detectors as their primary choice. Using technology that allows them to detect extremely small levels of gases, infrared sensors work well in environments that are prone to extreme temperatures, high humidity levels, and dust.

Mobile Devices

As companies begin to use mobile devices in more of their daily operations, installing sensors that have this capability is very important. If this is an important aspect of your company’s operations, then it’s best to choose an infrared open path combustible gas detector, since this system can be easily integrated into a wireless network to be used with smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

By carefully evaluating your company’s needs with the capabilities of these gas detection systems, you will be able to choose a detection system that will keep your employees and facilities safe.

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