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Colorimetric gas detection tubes

The use of colorimetric tubes has been an important tool for health and safety professionals for decades. These tubes offer an inexpensive and convenient way to monitor the concentration of gases and vapors in the air. With their semi-quantitative reading method, colorimetric tubes provide a quick and easy way to determine if concentrations of certain compounds are within safe limits or if further action is required. They are ideal for use in a variety of settings, including industrial workplaces, laboratories, and field environments. Health and safety professionals rely on colorimetric tubes to make informed decisions about workplace safety and to protect the health of workers and the environment.

Colorimetric Tubes Sensodyne

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What are colorimetric gas detection tubes and how do they work?

Colorimetric gas detection tubes are a low-cost method of detecting and measuring the concentration of specific gases or vapors in the air. These tubes contain chemicals that react with the gas or vapor being measured, causing a color change that indicates the concentration of the gas. The user simply attaches the tube to a pump and draws a calibrated volume of air through the tube. The chemical reaction occurs within the tube and the resulting color change can be compared to a printed scale to determine the concentration level of the gas. This provides a quick and easy way to obtain a semi-quantitative measurement of a specific gas or vapor in the air.

How are colorimetric tubes different from other types of gas detectors?

Colorimetric tubes differ from other types of gas detectors in that they use a chemical reaction to detect the presence and concentration of a specific gas or vapor in the air. The tubes contain a chemical reagent that reacts with the target gas to produce a color change. This color change is then compared to a printed scale on the tube to determine the concentration of the gas. This method is relatively simple, inexpensive, and does not require electricity or calibration, making it a cost-effective and reliable solution for monitoring gas levels in various industries. Other types of gas detectors, such as electronic sensors, require calibration and maintenance and can be more expensive to purchase and operate.

What types of gases can be detected using colorimetric tubes?

Colorimetric tubes can detect a wide range of gases and vapors, including but not limited to carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, ammonia, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, and various organic solvents. The specific types of gases that can be detected depend on the type of tube used, as each tube is designed to react with specific compounds.

What is the typical range of detection for colorimetric tubes?

The typical detection range for colorimetric tubes depends on the specific type of tube and the gas or vapor being detected. However, the range generally varies from a few parts per million (ppm) to several thousand ppm. Some tubes may also have a lower detection limit in the parts per billion (ppb) range.

Can colorimetric tubes be used to detect multiple gases simultaneously?

Colorimetric tubes typically have specific reagents that react with a single gas or group of gases. While some tubes can detect a range of gases, most are designed to detect a single gas. This is because the reagents used in the tubes are specific to a particular gas or group of gases and can only react with those specific compounds. For example, a colorimetric tube designed to detect ammonia will not detect carbon monoxide, and vice versa. However, it is possible to use multiple colorimetric tubes in a sampling kit to detect multiple gases simultaneously.

It is important to note that while colorimetric tubes can provide a semiquantitative measure of gas concentration, they are not as accurate as other gas detection methods such as gas chromatography or mass spectrometry. Colorimetric tubes are a cost-effective and reliable solution for monitoring gas levels in various industries, but they should be used as a screening tool rather than a definitive measurement.

How accurate are the results obtained from colorimetric tubes?

The accuracy of results obtained from colorimetric tubes depends on several factors, including the quality of the tubes, the environmental conditions, and the user’s ability to follow the instructions for use. In general, colorimetric tubes have a level of accuracy that is within +/- 10% of the actual concentration of the gas being measured. However, it’s important to note that colorimetric tubes provide a semi-quantitative measurement, meaning they provide an approximate range or level of gas concentration rather than an exact numerical value. Other types of gas detectors may be required for more precise measurements. It’s also important to calibrate the tubes regularly and use them within their stated expiration dates to ensure accuracy. Overall, colorimetric tubes can be a cost-effective and reliable tool for monitoring gas levels in various industries, but their accuracy should be considered in relation to the specific application and the user’s requirements.

What are the advantages of using colorimetric tubes compared to other gas detection methods?

Colorimetric tubes have several advantages over other gas detection methods, including

  • Cost-effective: Colorimetric tubes are a relatively inexpensive option for gas detection, making them accessible to small businesses and individuals.
  • Portability: Colorimetric tubes are lightweight, compact, and easy to use, making them ideal for on-site testing and field work.
  • Specificity: Each colorimetric tube is designed to detect a specific gas or vapor, allowing for targeted monitoring.
  • Real-time results: Colorimetric tubes provide instant results, with the color change indicating the concentration of the gas in real time.
  • No power source required: Unlike other gas detectors that require electricity or batteries, colorimetric tubes do not require an external power source, making them ideal for use in remote locations.
  • Low Maintenance: Colorimetric tubes require minimal maintenance, with no calibration or special storage requirements.
  • Versatility: Colorimetric tubes can be used in a wide range of applications and industries, including environmental monitoring, industrial hygiene, and occupational safety.

How long do colorimetric tubes typically last and what is their shelf life?

The lifetime of colorimetric tubes varies depending on the manufacturer and the specific gas being detected. However, most tubes have a shelf life of 1-3 years when properly stored in their original packaging, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Once the tube is opened and exposed to air, the shelf life may be shorter and will depend on the specific gas being detected, the concentration level, and the duration of sampling. In general, the tubes can provide accurate results for short-term sampling durations ranging from a few minutes to several hours. The time required for the reaction and color change to take place also varies, but is typically between 1-30 minutes. Despite their relatively short life and limited accuracy, colorimetric tubes remain a popular choice for monitoring gas levels in various industries due to their low cost, ease of use, and ability to provide a quick and simple indication of gas presence.

What safety precautions should be taken when using colorimetric tubes?

When using colorimetric tubes for gas detection, it is important to follow some safety precautions to ensure the health and safety of the user and those around them. The following are some general safety guidelines:

  • Read and follow the instructions and precautions provided by the manufacturer before using the tubes.
  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, safety glasses, and respiratory protection, if necessary.
  • Use the tubes only for their intended purpose and in accordance with their instructions.
  • Store the tubes in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place away from direct sunlight and sources of heat and ignition.
  • Do not expose the tubes to extreme temperatures or humidity as this may affect their accuracy and shelf life.
  • Use the tubes in a well-ventilated area or wear respiratory protection if the gas detected is harmful or toxic.
  • Ensure that the tubes are not damaged or expired before use.
  • Dispose of used tubes and any hazardous waste in accordance with local regulations.
  • Taking these precautions will help ensure that the use of colorimetric tubes is safe and effective.

What makes colorimetric gas detection tubes a cost-effective and reliable solution for monitoring gas levels in various industries?

Colorimetric gas detection tubes are a cost-effective and reliable solution for monitoring gas levels in a variety of industries due to their simple design and ease of use. They do not require calibration or an electrical power source, eliminating costly maintenance and downtime. They also provide fast semi-quantitative results and can detect a wide range of gases and vapors. Additionally, the tubes are portable and can be easily carried by personnel, making them an ideal tool for field monitoring. Finally, colorimetric tubes are available for various compounds and are manufactured to high quality standards to ensure accuracy and consistency.


Sensidyne is a well-established manufacturer and distributor of gas detection and air sampling instrumentation. They offer a broad range of products to process, manufacturing and infrastructure industries worldwide, including air monitoring instrumentation, fixed gas detection, sound and vibration measurement, and heat stress analysis. With over 35 years of experience, Sensidyne has become a technology leader in fixed gas detection, providing high-quality products, expert customer service, and technical support. Their brands include Gilian, BDX, SensAlert, SensAlarm, Sensidyne Colorimetric Gas Detector Tubes, and more. Sensidyne is committed to providing reliable and cutting-edge technology to ensure the safety of people and the environment.


The Sensidyne AP-20S Gas Detection Pump Kit is a portable and reliable gas detection system that provides on-site detection of various gases and vapors. This lightweight and rugged pump kit is designed specifically for use with Sensidyne detector tubes and comes with an antibacterial blue handle. The pump is built to withstand harsh environments and comes with a lifetime warranty, making it a great investment for safety-conscious industries. The kit includes the AP-20S Gas Detection Pump, lubricant, manual, tube manual, rubber tube connectors and a lightweight carrying case. With its ease of use and low cost, the AP-20S Detector Tube Pump Kit is an excellent choice for those who require accurate and convenient gas detection.

Colorimetric Tubes Sensidyne

The Sensidyne Gas Detector Tube System is a reliable and cost-effective solution for field screening and testing of hazardous and toxic gases and chemical vapors. The system is easy to use and provides a cost-effective method for routine or spot sampling of gases and vapors. With over 450 compounds that can be specifically measured, the system offers a wide range of choices for applications where accuracy and repeatability are critical. The system’s specialized HazMat kits are an excellent option for rapid identification and measurement of unknown target gases or substances. The detector tubes are precision tubes that offer a higher level of accuracy and repeatability, and with low cross sensitivity, the system provides reliable and consistent results. The detector tubes are supplied with corrections for humidity and temperature via correlation graphs, making them suitable for use in various environments. With a wide range of applications, the Sensidyne Gas Detector Tube System is the industry’s quality standard for gas detection.

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