The FlexStream™ Gas Standards Generator provides:
- Permeation tube oven with wide temperature range controlled to 0.01 °C
- High-accuracy primary dilution mass flow rate
- Front panel color touch-screen human interface
- Automation of all calculations; key in the target concentration and the FlexStream™ sets the flow rate
- Single-oven module can create mixtures with up to 8 components
- External computer monitoring and control
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The FlexStream™ is ideally suited for creating trace concentration – ppm, ppb, and pptr – mixtures. The FlexStream™ uses KIN-TEK Trace Source™ disposable, refillable and diffusion permeation tubes for over 500 Supported Chemicals.
The FlexStream™ is composed of one or more of the following modules, depending on application requirements:
- FlexStream™ Base Module (FlexBase) (shown above and below): The “Base” module is required in every FlexStream™ system. This module provides (a) front panel color touchscreen, (b) permeation tube oven, (c) primary dilution mass flow rate and (d) Ethernet and serial RS-232 connectivity to an external computer. [FlexBase™ Gas Standards Generator Base Module brochure]
- FlexStream™ Auxiliary Permeation Oven Module (FlexPM) (shown below): Additional permeation tube ovens allow generation of a multi-component gas stream for cases in which (a) the tubes must be maintained at different temperatures, (b) differing permeation technologies (disposable tubes vs. refillable tubes) are required, (c) more components are needed than can be held in a single oven, or (d) for applications in which various components will be switched in and out of the gas stream. Up to 5 PM oven modules can be added wherein each oven can hold up to eight disposable permeation tubes or one factory-refillable tube. An added benefit is that any combination of ovens can be kept on standby to keep various tubes at temperature while not adding their emission to the output gas stream. [FlexPM™ Auxiliary Permeation Oven Module brochure]
- FlexStream™ Gas Fed Permeation Oven Module (FlexGF) (shown below): Most applications can use liquid-filled permeation tubes. However, some compounds (e.g., NO, CO, O2, etc.) have very high vapor pressures and require a special mechanism to achieve desired concentration levels. The Gas Fed Module contains the same oven as an auxiliary Permeation Oven Module (PM) but with additional controls that allow the customer to refill a “customer-refillable” gas-fed permeation tube and to set the operating pressure of the tube. These are special tubes, typically made of stainless steel. Prior to shipment, KIN-TEK determines the tube membrane’s certified emission rate for one or more components. In use, the customer typically supplies component gas from a cylinder to initially fill the tube and to periodically recharge it. [FlexGF™ Gas Fed Permeation Oven Module brochure]
- FlexStream™ Secondary Dilution Module (FlexSD) (shown below): The SD module extends the range of concentration attained from permeation tubes by providing an additional stage of dilution of the gas stream. Very low concentrations – ppb or ppt – can be generated depending on the emission rate of the tubes and the flow rate range of the primary and secondary dilution mass flow controllers. Overall dilution ratios of 10,000:1 can be achieved. [FlexSD™ Secondary Dilution Module brochure]
- FlexStream™ Humidification Module (FlexHG) (shown below): Many applications require the calibration gas standard to simulate “real world” conditions including the presence of humidity. The FlexStream™ HG is used to add that humidity. The computer system automatically adjusts flows to maintain %RH at varying total flows, or adjusts to change %RH as required. The trace concentration mixture does not contact liquid water. The HG module is operated from the Base Module touchscreen. [FlexHG™ Humidification Module brochure]
- FlexStream™ Interface Module (FlexIM) (shown below): The Interface Module contains gas stream interfacing components needed to assure constant gas stream output conditions independent of variations in flow and pressure. The Interface Module is ideal for applications where flow capacity of end use is limited (e.g., filling of gas bags), or when back pressure is required to introduce the output gas stream sample to the device under test. Controls are provided on the front panel for adjusting the output pressure. [FlexIM™ Interface Module brochure]
- FlexStream™ Modular Gas Standards Generator (shown below): The FlexStream™ Base module and any additional modules can be packaged in stand-alone carrying cases or packaged in one or two 3-module expansion cases as shown below (unused module slots in the expansion case are filled with blank panels). The modules are electronically connected to each other by a short cable on the rear panel.
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FlexStream™ Modular Gas Standards Generator
The FlexStream™ can also be locally or remotely monitored and controlled by a PC or process computer using ModBus® connectivity. This connectivity allows reading and writing of oven temperature, temperature alarm limits, mode of the instrument (standby, zero, and span), permeation tube properties (component name, emission rate, and certification temperature), flow rate(s), target concentration unit and value, and so forth.
KIN-TEK supplies a Windows® application named FlexLink™ with each FlexBase module. This program controls and monitors the FlexSteam™ by an RS-232 serial or Ethernet link between the PC and the FlexStream™. Using FlexLink™, the FlexStream™ can also be controlled and monitored over the internet (or company intranet). The FlexLink™ executable software is supplied as a standard item with each FlexStream™. Although FlexLink™ is written in National Instruments LabView®, LabView® is not required to be installed on the host PC. Scroll up and click the “FlexLink™ Software” tab to see more features of the software.
KIN-TEK also provides Modbus driver software free-of-charge. This driver is a LabView® VI program for interfacing the FlexStream™ to a LabView® program and is located on the FlexLink™ executable software CD. If you would like to review a copy of the driver, send your request to KIN-TEK’s Software Development department at the “Contact us” link in the sidebar above.
- Complete, integrated, ready-to-use turnkey system
- Automated operation with direct readout of concentration in units of ppm, ppb or ppt
- Modes of Operation: standby, zero, span and purge
- Touch screen interface for local setup and front panel control
- Modbus connectivity for integration with other computer systems for local or remote control
- Designed for expandability
- Flow path designed for maximum flexibility with minimum error
- Flow path suitable for reactive gases – mixture contacts only glass, Teflon® and stainless steel (other materials available)
- Accepts disposable permeation tubes, diffusion tubes, ultra-high rate liquid filled tubes, wafer tubes, and prefilled gas fed permeation tubes
- Accepts up to 8 disposable tubes per oven with maximum 6 inch length x 1/4 inch diameter (KIN-TEK HRT, SRT and EL tubes)
- Accepts one of KIN-TEK refillable LFH, and 57 Series tubes per oven
Please click the “Specifications” tab to see more features and specifications of the FlexStream™.
KIN-TEK supplies a Windows® executable program named “FlexLink™” to monitor and control the generation of multi-component concentrations with the FlexStream™ gas standards generator. The FlexLink™ program is provided on CD with shipment of each FlexStream™ instrument. (Note: FlexLink™ is not required in order to operate the FlexStream™ instrument.)
FlexLink™ communicates with the FlexStream™ using the industry standard Modbus RTU protocol over serial (RS-232) and/or Ethernet (TCP/IP) physical interfaces. FlexLink™ can also interface to RS-485 with addition of an RS-232 to RS-485 converter (not supplied).
The program continually reads data from the FlexStream™, presents the data in various indicators on the PC computer, and allows the user, via the PC, to control the standby, zero and span functions of the FlexStream™. Additional functions include viewing the FlexStream™ configuration, setting oven temperature setpoints and alarm limits, uploading and downloading permeation tube properties to/from the FlexStream™ and logging acquired data to files.
An added benefit of using Ethernet (TCP/IP) is that the FlexLink™ program can be run in another room, or even off site, for applications in which the operator needs to be removed from the gas standard generation function. Plus, while one PC may be controlling the FlexStream™ locally with an RS-232 serial link, another PC may be monitoring the FlexStream™ remotely via the Ethernet link.
In Figure 1, a target concentration of 1 ppm has been requested. Figure 2 shows the actual generated concentration results for eight permeation tubes that have been loaded into the FlexStream™ Base module. Figure 3 shows the logged data results.
Figure 1 Setting the Target Concentration
Generated Multi-component Gas Stream Concentrations