Dielectric Fittings Prevent Shocking Results
by Alecia Robinson, on Thu, May 18, 2017 @ 12:05 PM
A buildup of static electricity can make a mess of analytical equipment
Swagelok's dielectric fittings and adapters isolate monitoring instruments from the effects of electrical current; to find out more about dielectric fittings download the catalogue today.
As analytical instrumentation becomes more sophisticated and sensitive, it's more important than ever to protect the equipment by using dielectric fittings and adapters. They isolate the instruments from the effects of electrical currents and maintaining full fluid flow.
Running fluid through a line can cause a natural buildup of static electricity. If that ever reaches the metering device, it could make all your readings unreliable, or knock them out entirely. In a system running volatile fluids, a static discharge could cause an explosion.
The dielectric fitting itself is simple. It starts with the classic Swagelok design, then adds a thermoplastic insulator to prevent electricity conduction from a main area to a metering device. The design is unique in the way it separates the two primary functions of electrical insulation and fluid containment. Since the insulators are not primary seals, the material and design provide high dielectric strength over a wide range of operating and climactic conditions.
A Viton O-ring and TFE backup ring serve as the primary fluid seal. The seal is completely self-contained and requires no maintenance.
No one sets out to create a problem in their fluid system design. What often happens is that people get used to a certain approach, and don't always take into account the changing technology. Some older analytical equipment was built in a way that required a large sample of chemical or mixture to meet the requirements for a good reading. Today's more sensitive equipment can get the job done with smaller samples, but also are more susceptible to an unwanted electrical change.
Someone who habitually falls back on "the way we have always done it" may even think they're saving a few dollars by using standard fittings. But it's foolish to cut corners by installing regular fittings. Dielectric fittings should be standard practice, especially in any areas that have been deemed intrinsically safe.
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