Last week we discussed installing an area monitoring sensor system to monitor for Hydrogen, let’s look at what exactly they can offer:

  • Appropriately low measurement range (0-1000 ppm or 0-2000ppm)
  • Reliable sensing with a high degree of accuracy and selectivity
  • Minimization of nuisance alarms in presence of volatile solvents such as isopropanol, acetone, etc.
  • 4-20mA output for use with interlocks, or alarms at measurement ranges as low as 250ppm or 500ppm

Take a semiconductor manufacturing facility; hydrogen and the hazards of hydrogen leaks are present in many areas. If the hydrogen concentration of a supply system leak is kept well below the LFL, the possibility of explosion is prevented. Outside the semiconductor industry, the standard approach is to use a sensor calibrated to detect hydrogen and alarm when the concentrations exceed 25% LFL (10,000 PPM).

Hydrogen, a typical carrier gas, and other hazardous precursor gases are used in chemical vapor deposition (CVD) tools where air exchange rates can quickly dilute leaks - effectively restricting a hydrogen leak hazard to the area near the leak. Accordingly, sensors with an alarm at or below 500 PPM (1% LFL) are preferred to allow for the early detection of a leak. This will help protect systems and operators in case of malfunction/failure in the system and/or gas cabinet.

The key to hydrogen safety is the proper selection and placement of hydrogen detectors. It requires careful consideration, but, when employed correctly, are an asset to safety programs.

Learn more about the nuances of hydrogen monitoring in semiconductor manufacturing facilities.

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