Mississauga (ON), November 16, 2017: In June 2017, Nova Analytical Systems, a Unit of Tenova Goodfellow Inc., received an order from Ametek Reading Alloys, a division of Ametek Specialty Metal Products, for six (6) DuraNOVA Continuous Process Oxygen Gas Analyzers. Ametek Reading Alloys is a global leader in the production of specialty powdered metals, particularly those with a titanium base. In October 2017, these six units were commissioned by NOVA field service engineers.
Titanium powder has an affinity for oxygen (O2), which creates a potential fire hazard during the powder milling operation process. Historically, to remove the possibility of a hazard developing, an Argon blanket was introduced to provide an inert environment for this industrial application. The inert blanket of gas prevents the powder being processed from reacting with oxygen from surrounding air and sparks created by the mill. For Ametek’s powdered metals process, adding Argon to this process greatly reduced the risk of fire, however, there was still two unknowns; was the drum installed properly and was the oxygen sufficiently purged?
The objective for Ametek using DuraNOVA continuous offgas analysis was twofold: first, validation that the milled powder drum was installed and sealed properly and second, that the system was sufficiently purged of oxygen to allow the milling process to start. There was a need to continuously measure for the presence of O2 in the inert environment created by the Argon. To accomplish this, a DuraNOVA Model 810N4 analyzer was installed on each of the six milling cells in the plant. The analyzer O2 control alarm was connected to an interlock that controlled the mill and vibrating table. In this way, the cell cannot be energized until the measured O2 level in the Argon atmosphere is below the analyzer alarm setting.
The DuraNOVA continuous gas analyzer was selected for its simplicity to use, flexibility and overall ruggedness to accurately measure low oxygen concentrations in a very high dust load environment. DuraNOVA Model 810N4 meets the Class 2, Division 1, Group E area rating required for manufacturing that involves powdered metal processes. The equipment also includes automatic calibration and purging functions, which will keep the equipment in a ready-state despite the batch-nature of the process.