The Benefits of Stainless Steel Gas Detectors

There are many considerations to be made when it comes to choosing the right gas detection system. One of these considerations is the enclosure material of the detector.

Common materials used in gas detection products are stainless steel, aluminium and ABS plastic. Each material has its own advantages and may be more appropriate in specific industries and applications. In this blog we’ll take a look at the advantages and applications for stainless steel detectors.

Advantages of stainless steel

There are many advantages to stainless steel gas detectors, some of which may be more well-known than others.

One of the key characteristics of stainless steel is its corrosion resistance capabilities. Stainless steel is incredibly strong against corrosion and rust. 316 stainless steel, the type used in Crowcon stainless steel detectors, also contains molybdenum which further enhances the corrosion resistance capabilities. This feature ensures stainless steel detectors remain operational even in the conditions with high level of contaminants that may cause corrosion. Stainless steel is also incredibly strong, durable and impact resistant, further enhancing its ability to operate in these environments.

As well as its corrosion-resistant characteristics, stainless steel also has a high level of fire and heat resistance. This means that its strength is not compromised when exposed to fire or extremes of temperature (both high and low temperatures).

One often overlooked characteristic of stainless steel is hygiene. It is extremely easy to clean and sanitise whilst the non-porous surface makes it difficult for bacteria to take hold. This characteristic is of particular note in the medical and healthcare industries as well as pharmaceutical processing and manufacturing.

As has been demonstrated, stainless steel is a very durable material. Being resistant to the impacts of corrosion, extreme temperatures, fire and impact ensures stainless steel detectors can operate continuously in a wide range of hazardous environments.

As well as this wide range of durable characteristics, there are additional benefits to stainless steel when it comes to cost, sustainability and recyclability.

Stainless steel’s durability leads to lower maintenance costs and these two things combined ensures that stainless steel detectors provide long-term value.  And when your detector does come to the end of its life, you can be assured that it will not be wasted as stainless steel is 100% recyclable. At least 60% of new  stainless steel is created using recycled stainless steel.

Applications for stainless steel detectors

Stainless steel detectors are ideal in a wide range of industries where hazardous conditions may be present. These include the oil and gas, wastewater treatment and petrochemical industries. Stainless steel detectors are perfectly-suited for the food and beverage industry, particularly in distilleries, where high risks of contamination or corrosion exist for other detector enclosures. As well as these, stainless steel detectors are also ideal for the medical and healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, due in part to the hygiene factor.

Xgard Bright Stainless Steel

Our Xgard Bright fixed detector is now available in stainless steel. Get all the benefits and features of Xgard Bright, including addressable implementation, OLED display and MPS sensor technology, now with all the advantages that come with stainless steel detectors.

Xgard Bright Stainless Steel is compatible with all existing Xgard Bright accessories, is IP65 rated (IP66 with weatherproof cap), for use in areas subject to regular wash downs or in exposed environments. Both hazardous-area certified and safe-area enclosures are available and options for both M20 and ½”NPT cable entry are available.

The Past, Present and Future of Air Quality Regulation

The advent of air pollution as a serious issue can be traced all the way back to the industrial revolution, as the reliance on fossil fuel burning for energy led to increased amounts of harmful pollutants being released into our atmosphere. Air pollution continued to rise throughout the early 1900s culminating in the ‘Great Smog of London’ in December 1952, resulting in  around 4000 deaths in just a few days.

In 1956, in response to the Great Smog and a growing concern for air pollution, the UK’s first piece of air quality regulation, the Clean Air Act, was established. The act introduced several measures to combat the effects of air pollution and to encourage movement towards smokeless fuels five years later, the UK established the National Survey which was the first national air pollution monitoring network in the world.

Not far behind the UK, the US published its first piece of federal legislation on air pollution with its own Clean Air Act in 1963. The act established a national program of air pollution control and pledged $95 million over three years to encourage the development of state pollution control programs. The United States Environmental Protection Agency was then established in 1970 who then published the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

In 1987, the World Health Organization (WHO) released it’s first set of air quality guidelines, titled ‘Air Quality Guidelines for Europe’. These guidelines were updated for the second edition in 1997 and the first global version of The WHOs air quality guidelines were published in 2005.

In the EU, the first major piece of legislation relating to air pollution was the 1996 Air Quality Framework Directive. This framework laid out the basic principles on how air quality should be managed in EU member states. This was then followed by three ‘daughter directives’ in 1999, 2002 and 2003 which prescribed limit values for a range of pollutants including sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and ozone. In 2008 the original 1996 Framework Directive was combined with three ‘daughter directives’ to create the Ambient Air Quality Directive 2008/50/EC.

Another key piece of air quality regulation came with the 1999 UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) Gothenburg Protocol, prescribing national emission ceilings for sulphur (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ammonia (NH3).

In more recent years their have been several key updates and new pieces of regulation. DEFRAs Clean Air Strategy published in 2018, lays out the comprehensive action that is required in order to meet international targets for air pollution reduction.


In 2021, the WHO updated its air quality guidelines for the first time in sixteen years, with the guideline amounts for emissions of some pollutants being halved and in some cases reduced by as much as 75%. These drastically reduced limits illustrate the scale of the air pollution issue.

Whilst we do not know for sure what is coming in the future, it is likely we will continue to see stricter limits placed on emissions in the coming years. In March 2022, the UK government proposed a new legally binding target to reduce levels of PM2.5 to 10 micrograms per cubic metre by 2040. Is this a sign of things to come in the future of air quality regulation?

To learn more about Crowcon’s air quality solution, click here.

Understanding Air Pollutants: A Guide to Particulate Matter (PM)

What is Particulate Matter (PM)

Particulate Matter is a mixture of solids and liquid droplets. Some PM is emitted directly, otherwise it forms when pollutants created from various sources react in the atmosphere.

Particulate matter is generally classified in two categories: PM10 and PM2.5.

PM10 refers to particles 10 micrometres or smaller in diameter. PM2.5 refers to smaller particles which are 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter. To put this in perspective, this is 30 times smaller than the average diameter of a human hair (75 micrometres), or 12 times less than pollen.


Particulate matter comes from both natural and anthropogenic (human caused) sources.

The sources for PM2.5 and PM10 can vary, with much of the PM2.5 found in the air coming from diesel, gasoline and oil combustion emissions. PM10 is often emitted through the dust from construction sites, industrial sources, waste burning, agriculture and landfills.

DEFRA reports the major mobile source of particulate matter (PM) in the UK is road transport, and the main stationary sources are the burning of fuels for industrial, commercial, and domestic purposes. Emissions of dust can also generate high concentrations of particulate matter close to quarries and construction sites.

In London specifically, road transport makes up 30% of PM emissions. Since the introduction of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in 2019 vehicular emissions have reduced by 30%, and the proportion of low emitting vehicles has increased significantly. Construction also contributes significantly to PM emissions in London, accounting for 15%.

Environmental Impact

Particulate matter has been shown, in scientific studies by the California Air Resources Board, to reduce visibility, as well as to adversely affect climate, and ecosystems. These effects were clear for all to see during lockdowns across the world in 2020, when views across many of the larger cities became clear for the first time in years.

It is possible for particles to travel long distances with the wind and settle on ground or water, which could lead to effects such as depleting nutrients in soil, making bodies of water acidic and contributing to acid rain effects.

Health Impact

Particle pollution can cause damage to the respiratory system with coarse particles (PM10) irritating the nose, eyes and throat, and fine particles (PM2.5) being even more dangerous, due to their capacity to enter the deeper part of the lungs and even the blood. Any health effect is impacted by the length of time of exposure as well as the size and composition of the particles, with PM2.5 being of the most concern.

Short-term exposure to PM2.5 has been associated with respiratory symptoms, asthma attacks and greater hospital admissions for heart and lung issues. Long term PM2.5 exposure has been linked to reduced lung function in children and premature death in those with chronic lung and heart conditions.

The Global Air Quality Guidelines 2021 from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that more than 90% of the global population in 2019 lived in areas where particulate concentrations exceeded the 2005 WHO air quality guideline of 10 µg/m3. With reports showing that the annual population-weighted PM2.5 concentrations were highest in the WHO South-East Asia Region, followed by the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region.

DEFRA have voiced how ‘comprehensive’ action must be taken to safeguard health nationally, and outlined their specific goals to reduce particulate matter emissions by 46% by 2030.

How Can PM Be Measured

There are two methods of measuring particulate matter described by DEFRA, the first is the filter-based gravimetric method. This method involves drawing in a volume of air and weighing the particulate matter to determine the mass in that volume of air.

A second method uses TEOM (Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance) which involves measuring the change in vibration of a filter to determine PM levels.

The majority of monitoring sites in the UK use TEOM analysers, such as those in the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN).

Sensit by Crowcon RAMP

The RAMP is a robust, remote and reliable low-cost air quality monitoring platform. The device is capable of monitoring up to five gaseous chemical pollutants. The device uses a laser scattering detection method to detect both PM2.5 and PM10 with a range of 1-1000 μg/m3.

The RAMP is suitable for use in a variety of industries including construction, transport, waste, oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical industries.