Odd question - what is the most staining gas/smoke you've worked with?

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In summary,The system is that the known leaking part is put in a rig which pumps smoke through it, from incence cones, and these are supposed to stain the part where the air is getting through, making it easy to locate. Problem is, the smoke doesn't stain most of the time.We can't use bubbles because we need to dissect it and still see where the stain is. Ths prompts my question - what is the mot staining smoke or gas you've worked with? The thin which wasn't worth cleaning because the walls were brown within minutes? Does such a thing exist?There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the particle size of smoke will vary depending on the
  • #1
some bloke
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TL;DR Summary
I work with a very poor system for detecting leaks, and would like to improve it.
I am trying to work out if there is any guide anywhere to the fineness of smoke particles. Where I work we use incence cones to detect leaks in sheets of material, because it stains it where it leaks through, but most of the time it seems the holes are too small. I have been told we used to use cigarettes in the 80's but had to stop for obvious reasons!

Is there some guide or measurement which will help me to gauge the particle size of smoke? Would oil on the incence be likely to offer an improvement (smoke from a frying pan I imagine has a very fine size).

I am also considering using an indicator (methyl red, as smoke is supposedly PH5.5) to try and reveal invisible stains.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!
 
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  • #2
[Mentor Note -- Two similar threads merged]

I work with a very poor system for detecting leaks, and I'd like to improve it.

The system is that the known leaking part is put in a rig which pumps smoke through it, from incence cones, and these are supposed to stain the part where the air is getting through, making it easy to locate. Problem is, the smoke doesn't stain most of the time.

We can't use bubbles because we need to dissect it and still see where the stain is. Ths prompts my question - what is the mot staining smoke or gas you've worked with? The thin which wasn't worth cleaning because the walls were brown within minutes? Does such a thing exist?

Currently we burn incence cones, which occasionally work. I know there's got to be a better option out there, so I'm calling on the wealth of experience on here for guidance!
 
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  • #4
I would look into fluorescent dyes instead of smoke. Much easier to see with UV illumination. There are lots of google links for "gas leak detection with fluorescent stains".
 
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Likes berkeman
  • #6
Thankyou for the responses!
@berkeman I am not really certain of how the helium detection would work for this. We already have a method for determining where hte leak is coming out of the part, but we need to leave a stained trail behind so that when we dissect the part (and thus can no longer use leaking gas to detect the location) we can see exactly the path the leak took.

@DaveE I looked into the google results for this, without the quotes it was all referring to liquids and not gases, and with the quotes, the only on-sponsored link was to this thread!

@Tom.G We used to use cigarettes a long time ago, that's the sort of info I've already found, but I've now taken what you've shwon me and found further studies on incence particle sizes, and it does seem that cigarettes have smaller particles. That said, I don't know whether the cigarettes actually worked better or if it's the rose-tinted glasses going on!
 
  • #7
some bloke said:
We already have a method for determining where hte leak is coming out of the part, but we need to leave a stained trail behind so that when we dissect the part (and thus can no longer use leaking gas to detect the location) we can see exactly the path the leak took.
Won't that depend on the material and the surface of the leaking part as much as it depends on the gas?

Have you considered using electric charge, analogous to what they do with paint spraying and powder coating?
 
  • #8
anorlunda said:
Won't that depend on the material and the surface of the leaking part as much as it depends on the gas?

Have you considered using electric charge, analogous to what they do with paint spraying and powder coating?

I had not. It is true that different materials seem to stain better...

To the google! (Thanks!)
 
  • #9
some bloke said:
I am also considering using an indicator (methyl red, as smoke is supposedly PH5.5) to try and reveal invisible stains.
You might consider iodine vapour to lay a track through a fracture or failed seal.
Use stable 127 iodine. I am NOT suggesting radioactive iodine.
Iodine vapour is a universal developer for differential detection of faded or hidden writing.
 
  • #10
Baluncore said:
You might consider iodine vapour to lay a track through a fracture or failed seal.
Use stable 127 iodine. I am NOT suggesting radioactive iodine.
Iodine vapour is a universal developer for differential detection of faded or hidden writing.
I've just done some research on iodine vapour staining in response to this, and I must say it seems a bit beyond my knowledge! Cn you summarise how it works? The sites and documents I've found are full of acronyms without glossaries!
 
  • #11
some bloke said:
We already have a method for determining where hte leak is coming out of the part, but we need to leave a stained trail behind so that when we dissect the part (and thus can no longer use leaking gas to detect the location) we can see exactly the path the leak took.
The age old art of Thin-Layer Chromatography, TLC, employs molecular diffusion velocity, often along a strip or sheet of paper, to separate different compounds.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin-layer_chromatography
Iodine is widely used as a universal developer because it forms complexes with many organic compounds. Secret writing on paper was once detected with an iodine stripe test, since it would develop all known invisible inks being used at the time.

You have not identified the materials you are working with. What are the solid materials involved? Is the material black or white? What is the fluid that leaks?

Once you have identified a leak, you can justify investment in a more expensive process as part of the investigation, to highlight the path taken.

For crack detection, a drop of solvent containing a dye is used. That can wick along a leak path, then the solvent evaporates at the surface, to mark the entry and exit. But you are looking for the path so you could use a vapour or liquid, driven by capillary or differential pressure to carry a compound along the path. You could then stain that trail if needed.

Vacuum impregnation is a low cost technology. You might fill the path with a fluid polymer, such as cyanoacrylate super glue, then dissolve the parent material to reveal the tree structure of the leakage path.
 

Related to Odd question - what is the most staining gas/smoke you've worked with?

1. What is the most staining gas/smoke you've worked with?

The most staining gas/smoke I've worked with is probably sulfur dioxide. This gas is known for its pungent smell and ability to stain surfaces with a yellowish color. It is commonly produced by burning sulfur-containing fuels, such as coal or oil, and can be found in industrial settings and volcanic areas.

2. How does sulfur dioxide cause staining?

Sulfur dioxide can cause staining by reacting with moisture in the air to form sulfuric acid. This acid can then interact with materials such as concrete, metal, and fabric, causing discoloration and damage. It can also combine with other pollutants in the air to form fine particles, which can settle on surfaces and create a dark film.

3. Can sulfur dioxide staining be removed?

Yes, sulfur dioxide staining can be removed, but it may require professional cleaning or restoration services. The process usually involves using specialized cleaning agents to neutralize the acid and remove the stains. In some cases, the affected materials may need to be replaced if the damage is extensive.

4. Are there any health risks associated with working with sulfur dioxide?

Yes, exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can be harmful to human health. It is a respiratory irritant and can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and chest tightness. Long-term exposure can also lead to chronic respiratory problems and aggravate existing conditions such as asthma. Proper safety measures, such as wearing protective equipment, should always be taken when working with this gas.

5. How can sulfur dioxide emissions be reduced?

Sulfur dioxide emissions can be reduced by using cleaner fuels, such as natural gas or renewable energy sources, in industrial processes. Additionally, implementing emission control technologies, such as scrubbers, can help remove sulfur dioxide from exhaust gases before they are released into the atmosphere. Government regulations and policies also play a crucial role in reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from industries.

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