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July 27, 2014 950 Views

"It's just water. It can't hurt me." I've said it a million times in my life, usually before running from a building to my car (or vice versa). But in the industrial world, it's just not that easy.

In the manufacturing and process world, moisture can cause significant problems, even in small concentrations. Water (or even trace moisture) can cause corrosion in valves, pipes and motors. It reacts with chemicals like lithium, sodium, silver, ammonia, chlorine, hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide. It can destroy catalysts in hydrocarbon and petrochemical processing. And, it will freeze.

So what does that mean to your processes?

  1. If you have pneumatic controls and tools, moisture can cause corrosion and can plug pneumatic orifices, valves and actuators.
  2. If you use compressed air in a manufacturing plant, moisture can cause problems in the operation of pneumatic systems, solenoid valves and air motors and can adversely affect the process or quality of the product being manufactured.
  3. Moisture causes rust and increased wear of moving parts in production equipment as it washes away lubrication.
  4. In cold weather, moisture can freeze in control lines, possibly causing faulty control operations.
  5. Moisture can cause corrosion of air- or gas-operated instruments, giving false readings, interrupting or shutting down plant processes.
  6. Moisture can cause contaminants in plastic processing like blow molding and injection molding.
  7. It can cause high voltage discharge in oil-filled transformers.
  8. Moisture significantly reduces the yield of Ozone produced by corona discharge generators.
  9. During certain heat-treating processes, moisture can cause oxidation of metal surfaces.

So all sorts of bad things, right? So what do we do about it?

By measuring for moisture of course! GE has a portable, battery operated, intrinsically safe meter that measures trace moisture in natural gas, chemical and petrochemical gases, furnace gas, general plant facility and maintenance, air separation plants, and non-aqueous liquid applications. The GE Panametrics PM880 portable moisture meter, along with the moisture probe and all necessary accessories, is available to rent by the day, week, or month. Learn more about available GE Measurement and Control products to rent at RaecoRents.com.