The Important Points To Note About Gas testing Equipment on tanker Ships And Enclose space entry
The Explosimeter is the name normally associated with the instrument for measuring hydrocarbon gas in air at concentrations below the Lower Flammable Limit. Its full name is a Catalytic Filament Combustible Gas Indicator.
A full understanding of the construction and principle of an Explosimeter is essential for its safe and efficient use and it is essential that any person using this instrument carefully studies the operating manual. There is also a detailed explanation in the ISGOTT (International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers & Terminals) carried on tankers.
The Explosimeter measures from 0 to 100% of the Lower Explosive Limit (1.4% by volume).
If the gas to air mixture in enclose space is above the upper explosive limit (6% by volume) the meter reading will initially rise to give a reading of 100% or above, but will rapidly fall towards zero because the mixture of gas and air in the combustion chamber is too `rich’ to sustain combustion.
The meter must, therefore, be constantly observed for this phenomenon, as an apparently safe reading may be obtained when the atmosphere is in fact highly dangerous.
Calibration checks must be carried out at two monthly intervals and when a filament has been changed in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Note that, in general, an explosimeter may be calibrated by different gases. It is essential that the correct gas is used otherwise an error may result. Explosimeters will not read hydrocarbon levels in an inert atmosphere.
Oxygen Analyzer Equipment’s
According to the new law about enclose space, all ships are to be supplied with a portable oxygen analyzer. This equipment is supplied for use in checking that enclose space to be entered have been properly ventilated.
Two tests should be carried out on the instrument prior to use and a permanent record of readings kept on board.
(i) Zero Adjustment
This is done by using an oxygen-free gas, such as Nitrogen or Carbon Dioxide. Equipment is supplied for this test. Note that CO2 is paramagnetic and therefore may not give a zero reading on certain instruments.
(ii) Span Adjustment
This must be done in FRESH AIR and the instrument carefully checked that the reading has stabilized at 21% before the atmosphere of any enclose space is tested.
The maker’s instructions for the particular instrument should be followed carefully to ensure that calibration procedures are correctly carried out. Calibration checks must be carried out every two months.