Any part of an exposure assessment that uses air samplers as a primary means of collecting gaseous vapors or particulates must check the flow rate of the air sampler. This is done to calculate the volume of air for the vapor or dust taken in and to determine the airborne exposure concentration. Your portable airflow calibrator is one of the many components used in a chain that will determine the ultimate results for comparison to an exposure standard. You must minimize error to the maximum extent.
Minimizing Sampler Flow Rate Error
According to OSHA and NIOSH sampling and analytical guides, establishing the correct volume of air through a filter or sorbent media is essential for a more accurate calculation of concentration. The flow rate of an air sampler is calibrated with the sampling media in line using a field flow calibrator. Some air samplers have a built in calibrator or the use of dry piston prover field calibrator. The flow should be checked before and after each sample. If the volumetric flow uncertainty is known, concentrations can be ultimately presented as data in lower and upper confidence limits. This will provide better data for OSHA compliance and engineering controls. Many of the calibrators come in reading modes of single, continuous, and burst.
Flow Calibrator Calibration at CIH Equipment Company
CIH uses the MESA Laboratories ML800 primary piston prover for unmatched accuracy. The ML-800 is a positive displacement primary piston prover for gas flow measurements in either pressure or vacuum applications. Using Proven DryCal Technology, it combines the accuracy of a primary standard with unequaled speed and convenience. Volumetric or standardized flow readings are obtained with the push of a button. The ML-800 can be set to take flow readings manually, one reading at a time, or automatically in the continuous auto-read mode. The ML-800 can be programmed for up to 100 readings in an averaging sequence.
Why calibrate your field flow calibrator?
- A calibrated field flow calibrator coupled with a calibrated air sampler provides the most accurate measure of volume.
- CIH Equipment Company uses the Mesa Laboratories ML800 primary standard, has a very low uncertainty, and is considered the best in the business.
- Field flow calibrators may be reading poorly due to piston stickiness, temperature, atmospheric pressure, age, and shock.
- Flow calibration is in our A2LA scope of accreditation and error is minimized with our low uncertainties.
- Range: 5 mLPM to 30 LPM
An important component of sampling air is the sampler itself. Consider the error when calculating an airborne concentration based off of sampling results and comparing to a permissible exposure limit. The NIOSH or OSHA sampling and analytical technique stipulates precision of the method and standard error of the method. In the analytical portion, a filter must be weighed or digested, a sorbent tube desorbed and done so with a stated efficiency of the particular media and technique. When the mass quantity of the chemical becomes known, the exposure concentration is derived from the mass and the volume of air taken in. That is where the air sampler comes in. How much variation was there in the flow? Are the pneumatics gummed up? Does the battery allow for sampling the full shift? Does the sampler fault unnecessarily?
The importance of calibrating your Air Samplers
Whether to comply with standards or to determine safe concentrations for workers and the public to breathe, well maintained air samplers can mean the difference between accurate data and someone's health. Government agencies such as OSHA and Center for Disease Control recognize proper maintenance as regular calibration at a specialized facility.
CIH Equipment will get your air sampler in top condition. We want to make sure that your air sampler, before it leaves our laboratory, can operate at the correct flow rates, the pneumatic system is clean, the motor is trustworthy, the battery lasts, and the fault sensors are in proper operating mode. Our air sampler laboratory is set up to determine flow range, static head pressure versus flow, and well-functioning fault sensors. Pneumatic systems are evaluated for function, wearable parts and NIST Traceable flow and pressure standards.
Personal sampling pumps must adhere to ISO 13137:2013, which sets limits for required flow stability, as well as maximum pulsation levels. The standard provides a comprehensive framework that specifies test methods to determine performance of air sampling pumps, and ensures environmental influences such as air pressure and temperature have a minimal effect on the accuracy of the sampled air, which in turn could affect sample results.
Special features of our air sampling pump:
- Maintain steady state flow for accurate volumes
- Assure that the air sampler works and stays functional throughout the entire testing period
- Compliance with ISO 13137:2013
- We are A2LA ISO 17025 Accredited
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