SF6 Leak Detection

SF6 leak detection is vital for monitoring SF6 concentration during production, handling and use. As an incredibly potent greenhouse gas, finding SF6 leaks early is important to prevent gas escaping and harming the atmosphere.

What is SF6?

SF6, or sulfur hexafluoride, is a colourless, odorless synthetic gas first synthesised in France in 1900 by Henri Moissan. Due to its chemical inertness (lack of reactivity), the gas was found to be particularly interesting with many proposed uses.

SF6 structure | SF6 leak detection

SF6 Gas Properties and Uses

SFhas excellent dielectric properties, is non-flammable and is temperature resistant up to 500 °C. These favourable properties led to its use in a number of industries such as electrical transmission, electronics manufacturing, magnesium production, sound proofing between windows and more. Sportswear brand Nike even used SF6 to fill the soles of trainers to give them their bounce.

However in 1997, SF6 was named as the most potent greenhouse gas. Industries began phasing out their use and international agreements were introduced to reduce SF6 emissions across the globe.

SF6 is now only used in very select industries. The most prominent use is for insulating medium- and high-power voltage electrical switchgears because of its inherent stability. Other applications include the switchgears in wind turbines for renewable energy and in semiconductor manufacturing.

SFMonitoring and the Environment

Installing SF6 leak detectors is necessary both


for the safety of staff (whilst SF6 is non-toxic, large quantities pose the risk of asphyxiation) and the environment.

Due to its significant global warming potential, there are strict regulations for SF6 emissions. SF6 traps heat in the atmosphere more efficiently than CO2. Even small volumes can be hugely detrimental to the environment. Whilst the stability of SF6 is its main advantage in industrial applications, it also means its atmospheric lifetime is over 800 years. Minimising how much SF6 is released into the atmosphere is crucial in prevent too much warming of the atmosphere.

SF6 Gas Detector from Edinburgh Sensors

For the industries that have not yet found an alternative, reducing SF6  usage and minimising the risk of leaks is key. Installing an SF6 leak detectors throughout the manufacturing process and in environments where SF6 is being used enables the rapid identification and repair of leaks before any harm is caused.

Edinburgh Sensors offers complete solutions for SFmonitoring. The Guardian NG Gas Monitor can be used for SF6 leak detection, using NDIR technology to detect levels of SF6 and alert users to any increases in gas levels with continuous monitoring and gas concentration display.

Guardian NG Gas Monitor for SF6 Leak Detection

Find out more about how the Guardian NG can be used for SF6 monitoring in your industry, get in touch with our sales team today who will be happy to help you.