Increasing the useful life of bubble detector tubes

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Bob Reite
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Re: Increasing the useful life of bubble detector tubes

Post by Bob Reite » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:19 am

Think I will try that drop of water trick with one of my two detectors and see if it lives longer.
The more reactive the materials, the more spectacular the failures.
The testing isn't over until the prototype is destroyed.

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Increasing the useful life of bubble detector tubes

Post by Dennis P Brown » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:14 pm

Be careful adding water arbitrarily to a working detector; this may damage it - yes, losing water damages the device but that doesn't mean 100% humidity is good for the bubble detector with exposure for any significant time (maybe 60%, or 40% or 30% is best but one would need to know the required level - maybe the company will know this and tell someone that owns a detector.) That said, if a detector is "dead", then trying this can't hurt. Doing this arbitrary amount of water vapor with a working bubble detector requires caution because this could lead to issues.

David Kunkle
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Re: Increasing the useful life of bubble detector tubes

Post by David Kunkle » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:54 pm

Here is the final word on the water idea: (Although, if your detector is over a year old and no doubt on its way out- could probably only help.)

Hi David,

Thank you for your email and question.
We had thought of adding some water to the tube many years ago. You are correct in that it would help in terms of mass loss during storage.
Without getting in the details (which are proprietary), there is a risk of damaging the detector if you do this.
Consequently, we don’t do this and advise against it.

Thanks and have good day.
Robert A. Noulty, Ph.D.

Manager, Product Sales and Services
Bubble Technology Industries Inc.
31278 Highway 17, P.O. Box 100
Chalk River, Ontario
Canada K0J 1J0
Tel: (613) 589 2456
Fax: (613) 589 2763
If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.

Ernest Rutherford

Silviu Tamasdan
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Re: Increasing the useful life of bubble detector tubes

Post by Silviu Tamasdan » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:30 am

So adding water to the tube itself is out.

But keeping the tube in a moist environment should help prevent loss of water by evaporation. At the very least keeping the tubes in an airtight box. Perhaps adding a moist sponge or paper towel on the box next to the tube.

Or building a humidity regulator inside the box. It doesn't have to be complex. Many years ago I helped a friend who was building a humidor for his cigars. Cigars have to be maintained at a constant humidity level - 70%RH IIRC - to avoid drying out (but no higher than that to avoid mold). The solution we came up with after a bit of experimentation was a plastic box filled with a porous material (cellulose fibers) soaked with a 50% solution of propylene glycol in water. We made holes in the lid and sides of the box. We found that this contraption kept the RH at 70% in a larger box 10x its size for prolonged periods of time as long as the larger box had a reasonably tight lid which wasn't opened too often. Perhaps such a "humidor" for bubble detectors would help.
There _is_ madness to my method.

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