Oxygen Monitors Used To Ensure The Suitability Of Glove Box Atmospheres

Oxygen monitors and analyzers are often used as a diagnostic tool to ensure the quality of the inert atmosphere within a glove box. Unlike a storage compartment within a car’s dashboard, however, there is another type of glove box used by industry, government institutions, and university laboratories. This “other” type of glove box (A.K.A. dry box) is a sealed enclosure designed to isolate reactive and/or hazardous materials.

Glove boxes are typically fabricated from plexiglas, stainless steel, acrylic plastics, or a combination of the above and have (a) transparent side(s). The enclosures are equipped with gloves fabricated from rubber, Hypalon, or other chemical resistant materials that provide users the ability to manipulate materials within the glove box without risking contamination of the materials and concomitantly protect the user. Glove boxes can be configured as free standing devices or for bench-top use.

When an inert atmosphere is required, the enclosures are normally purged with high purity nitrogen or argon. This inert atmosphere is maintained at a slightly positive pressure to help prevent leakage of air (oxygen contamination) into the glove box. Breathing air contains 209,000 PPM of oxygen. If the leak integrity of a glove box is less than adequate and/or the purge rate of the inert gas is unsatisfactory, oxygen leakage from room air is likely to take place. An infinitesimally small leak of air into a glove box can produce deleterious effects.

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Alpha Omega Instruments manufactures glove box oxygen analyzers and monitors with the assurance that inert atmospheres are devoid of air leaks. The Company’s oxygen monitors and oxygen analyzers can be used to continuously measure oxygen concentrations within glove box atmospheres and can be used to alert users if an air leak were to take place. They include the:

  • OXY-SEN Oxygen Monitor

  • Series 3000 Trace Oxygen Analyzer

  • Series 3520 Portable Trace Oxygen Analyzer

  • Zirconia Oxide Oxygen Analyzer (ZRO 2000)

The OXY-SEN Oxygen Monitor is designed for applications where percent levels of oxygen within the glove box are to be measured. Our O2 monitor was designed primarily for applications where the user prefers to mount the gas diffusion end of the sensor through a chamber, glove box, reactor, etc. The diffusion end of the sensor has a threaded stock, providing an easy and convenient way of installing the sensor through the wall of a chamber, glove box, etc. by simply drilling and tapping an appropriately sized hole. Ten feet of coiled interconnecting sensor cable is supplied with each OXY-SEN Oxygen Monitor. For gas tight integrity, the extended-life sensor is equipped with an “O” ring that helps to form a gas-tight seal.

Alpha Omega Instruments' OXY-SEN oxygen monitor was designed primarily for glove box/dry box applications.

The Series 3000 Trace Oxygen Analyzer is ideal for atmospheres that must be purged to maintain parts per million (PPM) concentrations of oxygen. The ultra-low range Series 3000 Trace Oxygen Analyzer has the ability to measure oxygen in the parts per billion range. The enhanced mechanical design of the sensor ensures longer life, and virtually eliminates leakage of caustic electrolyte, a nagging (and expensive) problem associated with sensors that require periodic electrolyte maintenance. And, because the sensor is sealed, it is not position sensitive. In addition, unlike some electrochemical sensors, Alpha Omega Instruments readings from the Series 3000 do not require manual adjustment based on changes in the molecular weights of the sample gas i.e. helium, hydrogen, etc. a major advantage for continuous measuring applications.

The Series 3520 Portable Percent Oxygen Analyzer is ideal for circumstances that require accurate and repeatable spot (trace) measurements in a variety of gases. The CO2 tolerant sensor is capable of providing accurate trace oxygen readings in gases containing up to 100% carbon dioxide without shortening the life of the sensor. Alpha Omega Instruments readings from the Series 3250 do not require manual adjustment based on changes in the molecular weights of the sample gas i.e. helium, hydrogen, etc. a major advantage for continuous measuring applications. The output from the sensor is both linear and temperature compensated to provide optimum performance.

The Zirconia Oxide Oxygen Analyzer provides high precision oxygen measurements -- in parts per billion and percent levels -- in a variety of gases. Oxygen readings from parts per billion to 100% can be achieved with one instrument. The rugged and compact design of the ZRO2000 FAST Response Oxygen Analyzer makes it ideally suited for industrial applications where continuous oxygen measurements are required. The Series ZRO2000 Fast Response Oxygen Analyzer is a microprocessor based instrument designed to measure gas phase oxygen concentrations over a range of 0-100%, and it exhibits fast response times resulting from the non-depleting zirconia oxygen sensor used in the Series ZRO2000 Fast Response Oxygen Analyzer is a zirconia type that exhibits fast response times.

As noted the reliability of an oxygen monitor in glove box application is essential – anything less can produce catastrophic results.

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