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Calibration: The Art of Precision

Accurately measuring quantities has been an important task for many companies for a variety of reasons. As such, precision and accuracy have been the driving forces behind many of man’s success stories. And calibrating instruments that deliver better results is now an entire industry of its own.

Talking about calibration brings to the forefront the importance of calibration gases. And Australian calibration services are one of the leaders running the Asia-Pacific markets, according to Global Market Trajectory Reports of 2020.

What Are Calibration Gases?

Mixtures of two or more gases are typically used in the process of calibration, and they are often used as standards while calibrating analytical instruments like gas detectors or specific gas analysers.

Types

There are several types of calibration gas mixtures offered in the market. Typically, there are many combinations of gases used for calibration. But based on whether the instrument is a single gas or multi-gas detector, optimal gas mixtures differ.

Utilities

These gas mixtures are used in several everyday systems. From alcohol content indicators to air quality analysis, these gas mixtures have wide-ranging utility.

Air Quality: In order to calibrate air quality, the mixture of gases typically has parts of carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and carbon dioxide in nitrogen with others. And these are all followed by ISO guidelines. Besides, in measuring air quality, gas chromatography is a method used to highlight varying gas levels.

Blood Gas: Measuring gas levels in blood samples largely depend on the type of instrument used and the cause the calibration is done for. Several standard clinical mixtures exist (containing varying quantities of CO2, O2, and N2), but disease-specific calibration mixtures also exist (like malaria mix).

Breath Alcohol: Machines that detect alcohol from the breath have been appropriately calibrated using varying amounts of ethanol and nitrogen. Australian police have set the level of alcohol to be less than or equal to 50 mg in 100 ml of blood. Meanwhile, these gas mixtures adhere to NATA standards and have a shelf life of 3 years.

Natural Gas: This is very similar to your home-used gas cylinders. These mixtures contain several alkanes depending on the chemicals that make up the composition of the given natural gas sample. And typically, ultrasonic technology is used in accurately measuring the gas flow in these systems.

Why Do We Need These Gases?

Calibration in itself is a very important process due to the severe social and ethical implications it operates over. However, markets have identified a few definitive pros of these gas mixtures:

Instrument Calibration: These high-precision mixtures are used in laboratory settings to calibrate instruments. Also, such gases are extensively used in chemical processes like spectroscopy, chromatography, fluorescence, and thermal conductivity.

Environment: With the impending doom of global warming and climate change, accurately measuring the presence of certain gases in the air, water and soil have become important in developing intervention strategies. As such, soil and groundwater analysis for better agricultural models, vehicle emission analysis to reduce pollution, and rainwater analysis for acidity are common procedures.

Life Sciences: As we progress with the quality of lifestyle, health sciences face new challenges that require accurate measurements. In this context, calibration gases are used in MRI scans, cryogenic storage systems, medical equipment sterilisation, and even in some surgical procedures/

Manufacturing and Industries: Large-scale production and control of Biogas, LPG, and LFG are undertaken through calibration systems. Moreover, these gaseous mixtures are also used in hydroponic agriculture, food packaging, and induced ripening of fruits like Kiwis.

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