Laboratory Gas Africa recommends HIKELOK, the leading global manufacturer of high quality gas equipment; with their regulator range being the best available in the market.
Delivery lead times for many of HIKELOK’s products can be as little as 14 days, from production to your door, we find their quality, service and support unbeatable. If we hold the product in stock, you can have it the next day!
The HIKELOK range grows year on year as our customers continue to appreciate the benefits of purchasing a branded product of HIKELOK’s quality, rather than cheaper and inferior products. When considering true lifetime costs, we are confident that HIKELOK is without doubt the best in the market – it is our estimation that true life cycle costs can be reduced by as much as 25% by choosing HIKELOK equipment. Every regulator comes with a 10,000 cycle assurance.
HIKELOK has a long history of providing solutions to challenging gas control applications for the analytical, research and scientific markets. HIKELOK invests substantially more in research and development than the industry average in order to develop a continuous stream of new products, here is one typical example:
Assembled and packed in a clean room environment
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How to Choose a Regulator
While all regulators can reduce pressure in a gas system, HIKELOK high purity regulators conform to very exacting standards of pressure control. Below, we discuss some bases of comparison that can help you navigate this catalogue and choose a regulator that best suits your needs. Of course, our Customer Service representatives would be happy to answer any further questions you may have about regulator design and operation.
Single Stage vs. Dual Stage
Single stage regulators reduce pressure in a single step to deliver a pressure within a specific range. Regulators designed in this way will show a slight variation in delivery pressure as the cylinder pressure falls during use. For this reason, single stage regulators are best suited for applications where a constant outlet pressure is not critical, where an operator can monitor and readjust pressure, or where inlet pressure is constant. Dual stage regulators perform the same function as single stage regulators. However, delivery pressure remains constant as cylinder pressure decreases, and greater accuracy in pressure control is maintained because the pressure reduction is performed in two steps. Dual stage regulators are recommended for applications requiring a constant outlet pressure over the life of a gas cylinder.
Helium Leak Integrity
Helium leak integrity is a measurement of how well a regulator prevents gases from leaking into or out of a regulator body. The measured quantity is expressed as a flow rate such as 1 x 10-9 cc/sec He (1 billionth of a cc/sec). In this case, a Helium Leak integrity rating of 1 x 10-9 would indicate that the regulator would leak enough gas to fill one cubic centimeter every 33 years. If the rating were 1 x 10-3, the regulator would leak enough gas to fill one cubic centimeter in just 17 minutes. Helium is used as the test gas because it is chemically inert, it is easy to detect, and it is an extremely small molecule with the ability to pass through the smallest leak. The lower the helium leak specification, the better the regulator will be at preventing leaks into the atmosphere and at minimizing contamination from gases outside the body.
Materials of Construction
The materials of construction for a regulator should be selected based on the properties and purity of the gas being used. HIKELOK manufactures regulators from brass, aluminum, and 316L Stainless steel. Brass is compatible with most of the non-reactive gases. A choice of forged body or barstock construction is available. Forged body regulators are economical; however, their internal surface finishes are relatively rough as compared to barstock body regulators. Barstock body regulators have all wetted surfaces machined to a smooth finish, which reduces the possibility of contamination. 316L Stainless Steel is highly corrosion resistant and is suitable for use with many of the highly corrosive gases in their anhydrous form. Aluminum is an economical lightweight alternative to stainless steel for many of the mildly corrosive gases. Ask for our compatibility charts or consult your gas supplier to determine suitable materials of construction.
HIKELOK manufactures cylinder connections which conform to all worldwide standards. A few of the international standards HIKELOK provides include DIN 477, BS 341, JIS (Japan), and KS (Korea). Please note that a CGA connection limits the temperature range of a regulator to the guidelines of the connection.
The flow charts for each regulator are available upon request, they are a graphical representation of test results which show the change in outlet pressure. To use the chart, determine the maximum no-flow pressure permitted by your system. Locate this pressure on the vertical axis of the chart. If there is no curve for your specific condition, interpolate a curve. Follow the curve to the desired flow rate on the horizontal scale. Read horizontally to the left to determine the corresponding pressure drop. Because flow rate is dependent upon inlet pressure, data is presented at full cylinder pressure (2000 PSIG), partially full (500 PSIG), and nearly empty (200 PSIG).
The diaphragm is a sensing element crucial to the function of the regulator and the purity of gas delivery. Stainless steel diaphragms are corrosion resistant and have low leakage rate characteristics. Neoprene diaphragms may offer more sensitive pressure control, but do not offer the gas purity of stainless steel. Coating a neoprene diaphragm with PCTFE enhances gas purity greatly.
While a single or dual stage regulator of the appropriate material will suffice in most gas services, some applications require specially designed regulators. For example, regulators are specifically designed for use with highly corrosive gases, and can safely deliver gas at extremely high pressures. Other regulators are ideal for low sulphur application standards and calibration. If you are unsure about your requirements, please contact LGA for assistance.