Few people are aware of SF6 (sulphur hexafluoride). However, of all commercially-used gases it has the highest potential to cause environmental damage by increasing global warming.
Our client SF6 Recovery Ltd. is at the forefront of developing services, and now equipment, for the safe recovery and handling of SF6 at the point of use. In this article, we discover more about SF6 and look at how the company’s innovative new portable device, built using Accu fittings and fixtures, aims to assist end users and improve environmental outcomes.
What Is SF6 And Why Is It Used?
SF6 gas appears as a colourless, innocuous and non-flammable gas at atmospheric temperature and is actually one of the most stable gaseous chemicals.
As a result of this and it being five times heavier than air, it has excellent electrical insulating and arc-quenching capacity which means it is used as an insulation medium in electrical transmittance systems and electrical distributing devices.
SF6 gas is also widely used in the medical sector for applications such as the wave guide within Linear Accelerators (Linac) and it is within the medical sector that SF6 Recovery Ltd focus their services.
However, the downside to all these benefits is that SF6 is one of the most highly potent greenhouse gases. It has a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 22,800 times that of CO2 and an atmospheric life of over 1000 years so poses huge environmental risks if not handled responsibly.
How Does SF6 Recovery Ltd Help?
Based in Hampshire, SF6 Recovery Ltd is a specialist in the handling and recovery of SF6 gas. Working primarily for medical clients such as the NHS, the company applies its expertise in SF6 gas and its use within medical equipment to safely remove and replace the gas when required.
This may be to enable certain service and maintenance tasks on the equipment or when equipment is moved or decommissioned.
While SF6 Recovery Ltd is renowned for its work in the medical sector across the world, they also have clients in the fields of power distribution and manufacturing.
The applications for commercial use of SF6 are fairly niche and there are very few individuals with the expertise and experience to handle it as the SF6 Recovery team do.
Why Develop A Portable SF6 Handling Device?
Whilst there is commercially available heavy-duty equipment for handling SF6, it is not suitable for the medical sector where service interventions need to be carried out rapidly to prevent loss of clinical time, typically for oncology treatment.
With this in mind the team at SF6 Recovery Ltd identified a requirement for small portable equipment which could be packed into a secure case and operated easily by one person. The result is a small suitcase-style solution which can be easily stored and transported.
In addition to making life easier for SF6 Recovery’s own team to attend and access service jobs, it is envisaged that hospitals will be able to purchase the device and have its own technical staff trained by SF6 Recovery Ltd to undertake gas recovery in urgent situations.
Once used, the suitcase can be taken from site for final gas recovery by heavier duty equipment and then returned for future use.
How Accu Supports SF6 Recovery Ltd
When designing and building its prototype portable device, SF6 Recovery Ltd, sourced a number of components from Accu to help construct the portable case.
The fittings play a vital role in ensuring the integrity of the device’s construction – both in the overall case itself but also in attaching the various components within.
Given the sensitive nature of the device’s payload once full, quality and durability is of paramount importance. As a result, secure, long-lasting connections are vital to ensure environmental protection both on site and under transit conditions.
SF6 Recovery says it chose Accu not only for the choice and quality of products but also because the easy-to-use website is backed up by swift and efficient fulfilment, which perfectly suits its own professional engineering requirements.
Commenting on the relationship with Accu, Engineering Director Ian Stone of SF6 Recovery Ltd said: “We’ve used a number of different fixings from Accu’s wide range of screws, nuts and bolts as well as spacers in the build of our case."
"The quality of the fixings is extremely high and matches the excellent customer service and speedy delivery that we have experienced.”
If you would like any more information on SF6 Recovery Ltd, its services and the SF6 gas itself, please visit: www.sf6recovery.co.uk
Special thanks to Ian Stone of SF6 Recovery Ltd and Rob Jordan & Neil Fowler of Mondo Marketing for their help in putting this case study article together.