- viability of the IR response to this particular hydrocarbon
- the mobility of the sample through tubing
- sample loss from condensation caused by temperature gradients
- the calibration process for this hydrocarbon
Thursday, October 2, 2014
#192 - Mad Science in the Nova Courtyard
Dave and Grant at Nova set up shop temporarily in an old courtyard behind the Nova facility. We were testing for a measurable response to vapor from rolling oil on an infra-red detector. The experimental layout was a little bit ‘kit-bashed’ in terms of quality. This was the last day before we each left the office for holidays with our families, so there was a less-than-rigorous vibe in air.
Let’s back up a little and provide the context and purpose of the test:
In a steel plant there are rolling mills that reduce the steel into sheets of specific thickness to be rolled up into coils. The finished product may be used in the container, construction, automotive, and appliance industries. Rolling oils are introduced into the rolling process to increase roll mill life and reduce mill power consumption by reducing roll loads and vibration.
In the high-temperature sections of some rolling mills there is a concern that fumes from the oil will accumulate in the furnace atmosphere in high enough concentrations to combust or even explode. By measuring the fume concentration in the furnace, corrective action can be taken to avoid explosive fume mixtures. Corrective action sometimes involves increasing the air changes in the furnace to dilute the fume concentration.
We were asked by one of our sister companies if we could measure rolling oil fumes. In this case, the specific rolling oil was called Magiesol®47 manufactured by Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P.. This particular product is basically just mineral oil. Our infrared detector can detect hydrocarbon gases, but we were uncertain of the following variables:
So we set up a test that consisted of an enclosed volume of rolling oil inside of a stainless steel receptacle which was suspended in a mini-furnace and heated to approximately 250C. A gas sample from the head-space of the oil receptacle was continuously pulled using a down-stream pump. The collected gas was sent through the sample tube of an IR detector, and the output was measured using a digital interface & software.
The stainless steel receptacle containing the oil required some time to reach the target temperature. At low temperatures, there were insignificant amounts of the oil vapor in the sample gas and no useful response was observed on the detector. Once up to temperatures above 200C, the oil vapor content increased dramatically and a useful IR response was observed. We also noticed significant visible signs of oil vapor and condensation in the tubing as the temperature decreased after leaving the furnace.
Based on these results we decided that we would move forward with a design to be used on a rolling furnace upgrade project. We were also able to combine oxygen and dew point with the hydrocarbon analysis to provide a three-gas analyzer.
The actual furnace upgrade work is being handled by Tenova Core.
Cherrington Corporate Center
100 Corporate Center Drive
Phone: (412) 262-2240
Fax: (412) 262-2055
For information on these and other gas analyzer systems, give Mike or Dave at Nova a call, or send us an e-mail.
sales at nova-gas dot com
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