The Environics, Inc. Post

Gas Delivery Systems for Welding Applications

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 04:01 AM

Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is a joining process that consumes shielding gas in significant volumes. Even hobbyists and other small-scale users of MIG welders require a robust gas delivery system to facilitate their welding process and protect the joint from reacting with atmospheric gases. Contamination of weld joints by ambient gases such as nitrogen (N2) can lead to metal embrittlement and porosity, which can ultimately contribute towards mechanical failure.

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Tags: Gas Flow

Ambient Calibration with Environics

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Tue, Mar 26, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Monitoring the composition of ambient air is a vital process in maintaining the quality of the air we breathe. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has attributed millions of deaths per year to air pollution and inhalation of industrial particulates emitted by vehicles and industrial plants. New research has underlined the severity of the issue, suggesting that the health impacts associated with polluted air are more severe than previously believed. The European Heart Journal estimates that air pollution reduces the mean life expectancy in Europe by approximately 2.2 years[1].

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Tags: Gas Flow

Gas Flow Systems for Medical Devices

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Feb 28, 2019 @ 10:14 AM

Gas flow systems serve myriad purposes around the world. They are used to calibrate gas chromatographs (GC) in laboratory and analytical facilities and have been widely employed in the mixing, blending, and delivery of appropriate medical gas mixtures. Ground-breaking clinical research into the interaction between distinct gases and cellular behaviour has also benefits from the availability of ultra-high precision gas flow systems certified for medical use. This has supported analytical clinicians and researchers in various medical fields, from oncology to optometry.

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Tags: Gas Flow

MFCs for Hypoxia Training

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Feb 21, 2019 @ 09:11 AM

Thermal mass flow controllers (MFCs) are often used to control the flow of a gas species based on the dissipation of thermal energy. This is achieved by integrating a sensor tube into the flow system which is equipped with up and downstream temperature sensors. The gas absorbs heat as it enters the component and loses heat on its way out. MFCs are engineered to calculate the differential temperature in the tube and generate an electrical signal for additional instrumentation. This technology is central to numerous gas blending technologies and is broadly used in a range of application areas.

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Tags: Gas Flow

Performing Ozone Calibration with Environics

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 @ 08:12 AM

Ozone (O3) is subcategorized into three primary groups; stratospheric, tropospheric, and artificially-manufactured ozone. Stratospheric ozone is a naturally-occurring substance that forms in the upper stratosphere, up to sixty miles above the earth’s surface. Ultraviolet (UV) rays cleave oxygen (O2) molecules into individual atoms, and when these free atoms bind to whole O2 molecules, ozone is formed. This is the desirable category of the gas that protects the earth’s surface from the most harmful radiation of the sun.

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Tags: Gas Flow

3 Common Applications of Gas Flow Systems

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Mon, Feb 11, 2019 @ 09:05 AM

Gas flow systems are extremely varied in terms of device architecture, functionality, and measurement accuracy. They include delivery, blender, divider, diluter, and myriad other instrument types responsible for generating or introducing a pre-mixed gas flow into another system.

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Tags: Gas Flow

Customer Focus - Working with High Concentrations of Explosive Gases

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Wed, Oct 09, 2013 @ 09:40 AM

Often, customers come to us looking for a gas flow management system to fit a very particular set of criteria.  In some cases, this requires just minor customization of a current Environics model.  In other cases, a completely unique design is required.  Today, I share with you one interesting example.  Although I focus on the first system we designed, we have since made similar systems for other customers whose needs parallel these.

Our customer needed to dilute explosive gases at high concentrations in order to calibrate gas detectors.  After working with our sales and engineering teams, we designed and built a modified version of our Series 4040 gas dilution system which included a dual chassis design.

The electronics enclosure includes the power supply and PC boards for controlling the Mass Flow Controllers (MFC) and direct acting solenoid valves in the second enclosure. The electronics enclosure connects to a computer via a 9 pin serial port connector and cable. The 4040 software, on the computer, communicates with the microcomputer board inside the electronics enclosure.

The second enclosure is sealed and houses the MFCs, valves and components to support the enclosure purge. A continuous purge flows through the enclosure while it is running. This serves two purposes. The first is to carry out heat built up by the internal components. The second is to dilute any potential leaks that may develop. The gas plumbing inside this enclosure was vacuum leak tested to 1X10-8 ATM CC/SEC He.

In addition to continuous purge flow, the enclosure is pressurized to approximately 5” H20 while running the enclosure purge. This provides and indicator that the purge is activated as well as preventing any air leaks into the enclosure from outside. A safety vent was  added to vent the enclosure to atmosphere if the pressure inside the enclosure reaches 20” H20. This could happen if for some reason the purge vent becomes blocked or the pressure on the purge rotameter is too high.

The two enclosures are connected electrically via two control cables labeled MFCs and VALVES. An earth ground wire is connected from the electronics chassis to the aluminum mounting plate inside the purged enclosure. This safely discharges any static electricity that can build up in a system with flow.

Have a similar need?  You can contact us at (860) 872-1111 or here for more information.

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Tags: Environics Inc, gas mixing, Gas Flow, gas dilution, customer focus

Gas Chromatography and Calibration Standards

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 10:50 AM

Today, we will focus on gas chromatography (or GC), a technique used by many of our existing customers in a wide variety of fields.  To state it simply, GC is a method used to separate, identify and quantify chemical compounds.  A mobile phase containing the sample is passed over an unmoving and immiscible stationary phase.  The mobile phase is comprised of the sample and a carrier gas (typically helium, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen or air).  The purity of the carrier is critical and ultra-pure gases are normally purchased or, in the case of air, zero air can be generated on site for cost savings and high purity.   

The time in which it takes components in the carrier to pass through the stationary phase, known as the retention time (tR), is determined.  The more soluble a component is in the stationary phase, the higher the retention time. 

Once a component passes through the stationary phase, a detector allows the user to identify each of them, determine their mass and quantify the concentration.  There are a wide variety of detectors, and the detector chosen depends on the components and the needs of the user. 

The most commonly used detectors are the flame ionization detector (FID) and the thermal conductivity detector (TCD). They share a common sensitivity and functional concentration range.  TCDs can be used to detect virtually any component other than the carrier gas and is non-destructive, while FIDs are sensitive primarily to hydrocarbons and incinerate the entire sample.

Most importantly, proper calibration of the GC is essential.  By calibrating GC, the various retention times for compounds of interest are detected. Also, the area under the peak can be used to determine the concentration of the sample components by comparison to a determined calibration curve. 

A calibration curve is generated by running various dilutions of the compound/s of interest and then plotting response time and against concentration.  These points represent the calibration curve. No two compounds will produce exactly the same calibration curve, and the user must construct a calibration curve for each analyte.  It is also best practice to rerun the calibration at frequent intervals.  Precise calibration standards can be generated by gas dilution systems, which offer the advantage of on-site gas blending of 100% pure gases cylinders, providing a solution to using numerous, costly premixed cylinders of gas.  

Interested in learning more?  Subscribed to the Post or Contact Us!  We look forward to hearing from you.

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Tags: Gas Flow, Zero Air, zero air generator, gas dilution, calibration, gc

Study – Effect of MAP Process on Bioactive Nutrients

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Aug 18, 2011 @ 11:19 AM

A recent study, published in TResearch, the Teagasc research and innovation magazine, examined the effect of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on the bioactives in carrots.

Bioactives refer to natural compounds found in foods that reduce the risk of one or more diseases.  Carrots are rich in polyacetylenes that have been correlated to a reduced risk of certain cancers and a variety of other diseases.  The compound Falcarinol has been identified as the most active polyacetylene in carrots in terms of its effect on cancer cells in research studies.  Dr.  Juan Valverde and colleagues focused on a variety of polyacetylenes in carrots that had undergone MAP versus those that had not.  MAP is a common way of packaging carrots “sticks” and “chips” for sale.

In their study, two different gas blends were used.  Gas 1 consisted of 5% CO2, 5% O2 and 90% N2 while Gas 2 contained 10% CO2, 80% O2 and 10% N2.  In addition, each gas blend was used with both polyester -polyethylene and a polyamide-based
breathable material in order to evaluate the effect of the packaging itself.  All samples were stored at 4°C for six day with polyacetylene levels determined at days zero, three and six.

The results of the study were clear.   Modified Atmosphere Packaging did not diminish the level of any of the three major polyacetylenes found in carrots when compared to the controls.

To read the full article, click here (pdf, page 20).

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Tags: gas mixer, Gas Flow, MAP, EMAP, modified atmosphere packaging

Is the time to buy an accurate gas mixer now?

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Tue, Aug 02, 2011 @ 11:39 AM

Investing money in an important piece of equipment is often a difficult decision.  When is the best time to buy?

Well, thanks to the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 signed by President Obama in September 2010 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 signed in December 2010, this might just be your year!!  The government is offering companies tax breaks on equipment purchases which give you the option of writing off all equipment spending in 2011.  Here are some details on the laws.

The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act, Section 179 was changed to raise the Section 179 deduction from $250,000 to $500,000 for both 2010 and 2011. It also allows a 50 percent bonus depreciation for the 2010 tax year.  Normally, you are required to use the normal depreciation schedule and spread out the expense over a number of years.

Looking at the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, the government added a 100 percent bonus depreciation with no  limits for new assets purchased and installed for use between Sept. 8, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2011. That means you can write off the full cost of new equipment spending during the period, with no cap.

So, is this the right move for you?  You should consult your accountant on whether it is better for you to take advantage of the Section 179 deduction or the bonus depreciation.  For some, it may be better to follow the usual depreciation schedule versus taking the entire write-off upfront.  This is especially true if business is slower and you are not generating huge profits.  Doing so would let you spread the deductions over future, more profitable years.

For more information:

Small Business Jobs Act of 2010

Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010

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Tags: Environics Inc, gas mixer, Gas Flow, zero air generator, Small Business