Desiccators must be continuously purged with nitrogen or another process gas in order to ensure a controlled environment free of contaminants and moisture.
Unfortunately, however, a steady gas inflow can't guarantee the clean, dry conditions you require. A flow adequate to maintain a safe internal positive pressure when doors are closed is insufficient to overcome the backflow of outside air that occurs when a door is opened. A higher-level purge that might guard against this backflow wastes nitrogen and leads to over-pressurization that warp doors and damage seals.
The Desiccator Dual Purge System solves these problems by providing a higher flow level only when it's needed, and only for as long as it's needed.
It relies on a sensor switch installed on each door. During normal operation, with all doors closed, the system maintains an economical low flow of nitrogen into the desiccator to ensure a constant positive pressure of about 0.05" WG (Water Gauge)—just enough to block out moisture and contaminants.
When a door is opened, the sensor switch immediately activates a high-flow purge of nitrogen into the desiccator's plenum chamber that minimizes the influx of moisture and contaminants.
When the door is closed, the high-level gas flow continues to purge the desiccator for a selectable period of time, ensuring that any moisture that does enter the chamber is quickly forced out of the Automatic RB® (Relief/Bleed) Valve, before it can degrade sensitive materials. This time delay is adjustable, so you can retain the high-flow for a longer time when you suspect moisture contamination may have occurred. Note: The Automatic RB® Valve must be ordered separately.
The dual-purge capabilities of these units ensure that contaminants and moisture stay outside the processing chamber and at the same time guard against dangerous over-pressurization that can lead to warped doors, failed seals—even explosions! And because the Dual Purge System delivers only as much gas as is necessary, it economizes on nitrogen consumption; tests show that in many applications, these units can pay for themselves in a matter of months.
The Dual Purge System incorporates a flowmeter, a line pressure gauge and a variable purge mechanism. A “Low-Pressure” alarm is activated if the incoming line pressure is ever interrupted. This dual audible/visible alarm alerts you to a disconnected supply line, an empty gas storage pod, or other problem that could spell disaster for contents of a desiccator or glove box!
The Dual Purge System operates in tandem with Terra's NitroWatch System to fully automate moisture control.
The NitroWatch includes a humidity sensor that continuously monitors the internal RH level and activates the Dual Purge to automatically maintain any sub-ambient humidity threshold you require (down to 0% RH). For more critical requirements, select the NitroPlex™, which combines this automatic humidity control with multiplexed purge capability. In all of these applications, the Automatic RB Valve is required to ensure safe relief of over-pressurization that can build inside a chamber.
The NitroWatch™ is available in two configurations: