Oldham Unveils New Infrared Sensor for OLCT 100 Detector

3M Group subsidiary Oldham is delighted to announce its latest low-maintenance infrared sensor system, which has been specially developed to accurately detect the presence of refrigerant gases and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

The applications for this new sensor are numerous and the markets for its use are global: cooling industry (refrigeration and air-conditioning), food industry, high and medium voltage switch protection, automotive industry, etc.

The new infrared sensor will provide a real advantage in terms of hydro-fluoro-olefins (HFO) fluid detection that are found in many applications, since it replaces the hydro-fluoro-carbons (HFC) that were formally used.

Although other technologies are reliable to detect HFO, it still requires a lot of maintenance as it is necessary to test the detector after each gas exposure to check that it is functioning properly (for catalytic sensors).

Furthermore, experience shows that it is impossible to prevent leaks from these machines, as there is often 50ppm of HFO inside the filling machine housings, and that is close to the detectors.

In these conditions, the detectors should be tested every day, which is a lot of maintenance and headaches for the production line operators.

Thanks to the infrared technology, this problem has been solved! The operating principle is based on the reduction of infrared radiation when gas is present.

There is no chemical reaction or modification to the structure of the HFO molecule. The sensor is not damaged by the continuous presence of gas or over-exposures of gas.

The advantages are multiple:

  • Reduced maintenance
  • Mean time before failure (MTBF) is five years
  • No interference from CO2, Cto Calkanes (methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane) or from NH3
  • Very stable, even in case of variations in humidity level or temperature

For more information, please contact 3M via the enquiries form on this page.


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