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Temperature Sensors in the petrochemical industry

12 December, 2013

The petrochemical industry refers to products made from petrochemicals–chemicals derived from petroleum or natural gas.

Many of the products we use in our daily life are from this industry, including cosmetics, detergents, solvents, fertilisers, synthetic fabrics, plastics, asphalt, and some medications to name a few...

The petrochemical industry covers a diverse range of processes that are characterised by highly stringent safety requirements. The materials used may have corrosive properties or be highly flammable. For temperature sensors to operate correctly in hazardous and corrosive environments, the sensors must be protected from the corrosive materials to ensure they continue to function correctly.

The oil and gas industries deal with hydrocarbons that require the use of explosion proof (Ex d) or Intrinsically safe (Ex i) sensor assemblies. Dependable and repeatable level, flow, pressure and temperature measurement are crucial to the safe, accurate and continuous process control.

The temperature range of sensors used in the petrochemical industry, can vary from cryogenic temperatures–well below zero, typically in the gas production area–to elevated temperatures above 800°C in the cracking and sulphur recovery furnaces, as well as in the flare systems. These temperatures require a wide range of materials and sensor solutions.

Various options are available for measuring process and metal temperatures. Standard thermowell assemblies, special tube skin thermocouples, and high-temperature ceramic sheathed thermocouples can be considered for this working environment.

Special materials such as Hastelloy®, Incoloy®, Tantalum, as well as protective coatings such as Teflon, are supplied to the chemical production industries.

Pyrosales has provided instruments to the petrochemical industry for over 30 years, and has in-depth knowledge of the hazardous area requirements allowing us to assist in material selection to provide the most cost-effective solution.