Crowcon keeps workers safe at Dow Corning’s Barry manufacturing plant

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65 Triple Plus+ IR detectors used for pentane and hydrogen detection

Crowcon has provided 65 of its portable gas detectors to protect personnel at Dow Corning’s manufacturing plant in Barry, south Wales. The Triple Plus+ IR detectors are used by maintenance contractors during crucial operational site shutdowns.

As silicone is present in the manufacturing process and can interfere with conventional sensors, it was necessary for the detectors to have infrared (IR) capability as IR sensors are unaffected by silicone. In addition, Crowcon provided linearization of the IR sensor for pentane and also provided a bespoke hydrogen sensor.

According to Kevin Reid of Dow Corning’s analyser Group, ruggedness was a key factor in the company’s choice of gas detector supplier. “We issue the instruments to off-site contractors, which means they pass through many pairs of hands in a short space of time,” he explained. “Without a sense of ownership on the part of the user, they can get some pretty rough treatment. The Triple Plus+ units are hardwearing and require little maintenance – they also have an extremely reliable IR sensor. They performed exceptionally over the first shutdown period without a single detector exhibiting a fault or failure.”

The Triple Plus+ IR version differs from traditional detectors because it does not require the presence of oxygen, making it ideal for use in silicone manufacturing processes or in purge monitoring of hydrocarbon storage tanks such as in petroleum processing facilities or oil and gas carriers.

Favoured by the chemical and oil and gas industries because of its toughness, and with around 100,000 units in use worldwide, the Triple Plus+ is arguably the world’s most popular full function multi-gas gas detector. It can monitor up to four toxic and flammable gases at once from a list of over 15, is almost unbreakable and uses 7-series sensors which have been shown to be the most reliable sensor type available. It is housed in a shatterproof polyamide/ABS casing, making it shock-resistant and water-proof to IP65. It will also float if dropped in water.

A large backlit display shows all gas levels simultaneously and a loud audible alarm and extremely bright visual alarm warns the operator when gas levels reach dangerous levels. 100 hours of datalogging capacity is available as standard and a PC interface through an RS232 serial port allows all data to be downloaded for permanent storage.

Dow Corning’s 160-acre Barry site employs approximately 600 people and manufactures silicon-based products and intermediates for use globally. The process starts with elemental silicon which is chemically reacted and changed to make silicon-based fluids, gums, rubbers and specialty polymers.

About Dow Corning
Dow Corning (www.dowcorning.com) provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® (www.xiameter.com) brands. Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States. Dow Corning’s global operations adhere to the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative, a stringent set of standards designed to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes. Dow Corning is also the majority shareholder in the Hemlock Semiconductor Group (www.hscpoly.com) joint ventures, which includes Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices and solar cells and modules. Hemlock Semiconductor began operations in 1961 and has announced more than $4 billion of investments since 2005.

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