Developed in close cooperation with the petroleum industry
Typically, a PAS is composed of an elastomeric polymer matrix that is embedded with micro- and nano-sized conducting particles. The resulting composite material is deposited between two electrodes on a printed circuit board (PCB) and has a characteristic baseline resistance. The PAS operates via absorption and subsequent matrix expansion (swelling) resulting from contact with target hydrocarbons. Upon swelling, the interparticle distance of the embedded conducting micro- and nanoparticles increases, resulting in a PAS baseline resistance change. If the detected resistance change is greater than an applied threshold, it can be used by an external system to trigger an alarm.
Commercially available PAS technologies have not changed considerably since they were first developed in the mid-1950s. Two main factors contributed to the developmental stagnation:
Syscor has designed and produced a new generation of hydrocarbon leak detection PAS that overcomes historical challenges. The PAS is thoroughly tested and systematically qualified to reliably detect hydrocarbons (C4 and heavier) in air, underground, and within water bodies (including ice). Furthermore, it is designed to operate in a wide range of environments (icy, wet, humid, or dry) and temperatures.
Syscor’s Hydrocarbon Detector (HCD) and Hydrocarbon Detector with Water Level (HCDW) sensor probes are equipped with 3 PASs within perforated stainless steel enclosures. Up to two sensor probes may be wired to Syscor’s PCU-X01 Sensor Hub or PCU-X11 Inclinometer when deployed.
Syscor’s Rapid Deployment External Leak Detection System (RD-ELDS) utilizes 2 PASs within each HCD-P sensor probe, which have perforated high density polyethylene (HDPE) enclosures. Up to two sensor probes may wired to the RD-ELDS when deployed.