Fire Detectors Use Custom Glass Components to Reduce Risk

Fire detectors are sensors designed to detect and respond to the presence of a flame or fire. Responses to a detected flame depend on the installation but can include sounding an alarm, deactivating a fuel line (such as a propane or a natural gas line), and activating a fire suppression system. A flame detector can often respond faster and more accurately than a smoke or heat detector due to the mechanisms it uses to detect the flame

Precision Electronic Glass creates custom components that help enable fire detectors in hazardous environments.

fire detectors
A small fire burning in a refinery behind some industrial buildings.

Safety in Hazardous Environments with Fire Detectors

In extremely hazardous environments, flame sensors work to minimize the risks associated with fire. There are several different types of flame sensors. In large spaces or outdoor environments, optical flame detection is one of the fastest and most reliable methods of detection.

Among the many different types of optical flame sensors, ultraviolet flame sensors, near IR array flame sensors, infrared flame sensors, and IR3 flame detection sensors are the most well known.

Ultraviolet Flame Sensors

Ultraviolet flame sensors work within wavelengths of no more than 300 nm. Within 3-4 milliseconds, ultraviolet flame sensors can detect explosions and fires by measuring the levels of radiation in the atmosphere (additional radiation is emitted at the moment of ignition). Unfortunately, false alarms are fairly common. Other UV sources, such as lighting, arc welding, and even sunlight can trigger the sensor. In order to counter this, many ultraviolet flame sensors feature a built-in time delay.

Fire Detectors
Other UV sources such as lightning can trigger an alarm so a delay a few seconds delay is in place.

Near IR Array Flame Sensors

Near IR array flame sensors, which are also known as visual flame detectors, boast flame recognition technologies. In fact, these sensors confirm the presence of flames by reading near IR radiation through the pixel array of a CCD.

Fire Detectors with Infrared Flame Sensors

Infrared flame sensors work within the infrared spectral band. When an explosion occurs, certain hot gasses will emit patterns in the infrared region, which can then be analyzed using a specialized thermal imaging camera. Infrared flame sensors are somewhat prone to false alarms, so generally feature an inbuilt time delay.

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Worker, community, and environmental safety are primary concerns of fire detection.

IR3 Flame Detection Sensors

Most IR3 flame detection sensors disregard background radiation by design. These devices measure the modulated elements of radiation only. IR3 sensors are, therefore, less susceptible to false alarms than their ultraviolet and infrared counterparts.

Other notable types of flame sensors include ionization current flame detection and thermocouple flame detection. Ionization current flame detection systems are generally for large industrial process gas heaters and connect to the flame control system. Similarly, thermocouple flame detection systems are typically in gas-powered ovens and heating systems.

Worker, community, and environmental safety are primary concerns of fire detection research.

Where and Why Do We Use Fire Detectors?

Fire detection using optical flame sensors is active in many types of hazardous environments including hydrogen stations, industrial heating and drying systems, industrial gas turbines, domestic heating systems, and gas-powered cooking devices. The primary purpose is to minimize the risks associated with combustion. Often, a flame sensor responds more swiftly than a heat or smoke detector.

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About PEG

PEG’s mission is to provide customized glass and quartz products and related products and services to OEMs and distributors around the world in countries where our customers operate. Our objective is to fabricate the finest precision glass and quartz components and assemblies to customers’ specifications. Working together with customers, PEG manufactures prototypes; handles small to large production runs; performs value-added assembly, and provides cleanroom processing when specifications dictate the need for it.

Utilizing standard or computer-controlled glass lathe fabrication; glass-to-glass and glass-to-metal graded seals; cutting and end finishing; and precision grinding/polishing, PEG produces a variety of components and value-added assemblies, including medical, dental, or industrial glass X-ray tubes, and CO2 or HeNe lasers. We produce all glass and quartz fabrications in facilities certified to ISO 9001:2015 standards of quality. Our commitment to quality and integrity in everything we do is reflected in our mission statement, corporate values, and quality policy.