Steam Quality Monitoring

Why measure steam dryness?

  • Manage process quality when injecting steam
  • Ensure food grade quality of steam (e.g. culinary steam)
  • Check dryness of outsourced/purchased steam.
  • Avoid water hammer
  • Oversee traps and separators effectiveness
  • Monitor boiler carry over
  • Avoid erosion and premature failure of valves, regulators, etc.
  • Protect turbine low pressure saturated steam stages

Until now, measuring steam dryness fraction (X value) has largely been a manual process, which is time consuming and presents inherent safety and accuracy risks. Armstrong’s Steam QM series is an automatic steam quality monitor that safely and reliably determines and communicates the dryness fraction of steam; allowing you to continuously, accurately, and efficiently monitor your steam system.

As an example, a continuous supply of saturated steam is required for steam sterilization. Excess moisture carried in suspension can cause damp loads, while too little cannot prevent the steam from becoming superheated during expansion into the sterilizer chamber.

Why measure non-condensable gases?

Non-condensable gases (NCG) contained in the steam can prevent the attainment of sterilization conditions in any part of the sterilizer load. Measuring the level of non-condensable gases present during normal use of the sterilizer is a method to evaluate compliance with the EN285 requirement. A peak in the amount of NCG which occurs for a few seconds can be sufficient to cause a fault during sterilization.

Why measure superheat at atmospheric pressure?

As per EN285, when the supplied steam is expanded to atmospheric pressure the superheat shall not exceed 77°F (25°C) preventing the attainment of sterilization conditions in any part of the sterilizer load.

Armstrong’s Steam QM series provides automatic steam quality monitoring to ensure the quality of the steam meets global standards, improves steam system efficiency and increases safety.

Two Armstrong Steam Quality Monitors are available depending on your needs.

  • Steam QM-1: dedicated to plant and culinary steam, measures and communicates the dryness fraction to improve efficiency and increase safety.
  • Steam QM-3: dedicated to clean and pure steam in the biopharmaceutical industry to meet EN285 protocols, measures and communicates the dryness fraction, the amount of NCG, and the superheat status.