Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tougher and safer than mercury thermometers

Noel Heary of Irish Power & Process (IPP) tells us that Fluke Calibration has introduced the 1551A Ex and 1552A Ex “Stik” Thermometers, engineered to give temperature calibration specialists the durable, intrinsically-safe digital instrument they need for precision temperature calibration.

The 1551A and 1552A “Stik” thermometers provide a highly precise and durable digital replacement for mercury-in-glass thermometers. They are intrinsically safe (ATEX and IECEx compliant), so they can be used safely where potentially explosive gases may be present. More durable than mercury-in-glass thermometers, they can be used reliably outdoors or on the production floor.

Process manufacturers of chemical, pharmaceutical, food or petroleum products require accurate temperature measurements. Since temperature sensors are subject to drift with time, regular calibration or verification against a reliable reference thermometer is required. But finding a reference thermometer that is accurate, repeatable and robust has been a challenge.

Although mercury thermometers are accurate and repeatable, they are fragile and pose the risk of a mercury spill, which can endanger the environment and human health. Several U.S. states and numerous European Union countries have banned their use in industrial applications. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has funded research to identify alternatives. But such initiatives have been hampered by the lack of an electronic alternative that was intrinsically safe, repeatable and accurate.

The Fluke “Stik” Thermometers help solve this problem, and get production managers out of a potential bind, by providing the measurement accuracy, durability and safety required in industries such as oil and gas production and petrochemicals—with no mercury hazard.
The 1551A Ex “Stik” Thermometer covers a temperature range of –50 °C to 160 °C (–58 °F to 320 °F). The model 1552A Ex covers a range of –80 °C to 300 °C (–112 °F to 572 °F). Both models are accurate to ± 0.05 °C over their full temperature range.

The stainless steel probe and digital readout of the Fluke 1551A Ex/1152A Ex “Stik” Thermometers are fixed together and calibrated as a system. The accuracy specification is easy to understand since it includes all uncertainty components, including drift, for up to one year. Unlike competing products, the large backlit LCD display rotates 90 degrees, making it easy to read from any angle.
A user-configurable stability/trend indicator lets the technician know when temperature is stable enough to record an accurate measurement. A user-settable auto-off function extends typical battery life to three hundred hours. A low-battery indicator and stop-measure function prevent erroneous measurements from being made due to low battery life. A simple three-point calibration function allows you to easily and accurately calibrate the “Stik” Thermometer. Data logging to internal memory of up to 10,000 time-stamped measurements is optionally available.

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