Calibration Gases and How They Increase Workplace Safety

Guide to Calibration Gases

Accurate measurements of industrial gas levels are crucial for maintaining safety in multiple industries. Malfunctioning gas detectors increase the exposure of health hazards to employees and the public. That’s why workers use calibration gases to verify that gas detecting equipment is working properly. Calibration gases are gaseous components used to contain toxic and flammable gases on a jobsite. Read more about the uses of calibration gases and how they increase safety.

What Is a Calibration Gas Used For?

Calibration gases are a mixture of compressed gases or gas components used to test gas detecting equipment to make sure that it’s working correctly. Calibrating equipment is critical for all measuring instruments and establishes a known response to a chemical component. Finding the right calibration gas for your detector depends on a variety of factors, including:

Type of Gas Detector

Understanding the type of gas detector you’re working with plays a significant role in which calibration gas you use. Most single gas detectors use methane or iso-butane calibration gases, while multi-gas detectors use specialty gases composed of four-gas blends and mixed in specific concentrations.

Purity of the Gases

It’s important to ensure the purity of the gases you’re testing. Working with impure gases could alter the detector’s sensitivity and lead to inaccurate results. Referring to the gas standard assures that the gas you’re using is pure.

Quality of Calibration Gas

Making sure you’re using high-quality calibration gas enhances safety. Poor quality gases could ignite, making them a significant health hazard for your staff. Also, don’t use any gas that’s past its expiration date; expired gas could lead to inaccurate readings.

How To Calibrate Your Gas Detector

OSHA recommends frequently calibrating your gas detector to maintain employee safety. Here are three ways to verify calibration gas safety:

Bump Test

A bump test is a qualitative test that involves passing calibration gas over the instrument’s sensor at a concentration greater than the set points to trigger the alarm. This serves as a functional test and should be performed before using any equipment.

Instrument Calibration

An instrument calibration exposes the equipment to a test gas to verify that the sensors and alarms adequately respond to a manufacturers’ preferred guidelines. If the calibration check results don’t fall into an acceptable range, then a full calibration should be performed.

Full Calibration

A full calibration adjusts the instruments’ reading to match the known concentration of the test gas. It’s a quantitative test that confirms the instrument’s sensors are open to flow and operate within a specified tolerance.

An instrument’s sensors degrade over time and repeated use. Regular calibration allows your equipment to reset and lets you know when to order replacement parts.

Tired of dealing with industrial gas inventory issues?

Our delivery system increases productivity by eliminating product run-outs. Contact CK Supply today to learn more.

Increase Calibration Gas Safety With CK Supply

Finding the right calibration gas supplier is critical for maintaining workplace safety. CK Supply has been an industry-leading industrial gas provider for over 70 years. We offer a wide selection of high-quality bulk gases for multiple industries, including:

Does your process require a specialty gas? We have a dedicated lab capable of providing rare and specific gas mixes to suit your needs. Our lab is Asterisk certified and adheres to strict consistency, accuracy, and integrity standards.

CK Supply also has a wide selection of gas calibration equipment, including gas detectors and regulators. We know how costly downtime is for your business and source our equipment from leading brands to help you maintain productivity.

CK Supply: Providing High-Quality Calibration Gases and More Since 1948

Businesses choose CK Supply because we’re an employee-owned company that offers the highest-quality gas products and an innovative delivery system that guarantees a steady supply. Our Gas Express System delivers gas directions from our trucks to your stationary bulk gas containers. Our process is designed to minimize interruptions to your business and makes managing bulk gas easier than ever by eliminating:

  • Cylinder handling
  • Product run-outs
  • Residual product returns
  • Inventory management

Along with our selection of bulk and industrial gas, we also offer welding equipment and dry ice for multiple industries. Contact CK Supply today to learn more about the services we provide.



Product Spotlight: Oxygen

Product Spotlight: Nitrogen

Product Spotlight: Acetylene

Acetylene is one gas that may be indispensable to industry. It is used for the production of chemicals, plastics, lighting, and it is critical to the fabrication industry as a welding fuel. Acetylene is a versatile gas and one of the key industrial gas products that CK supplies to our commercial partners. 


Pure acetylene is colorless and odorless but with some impurities it can have a distinctive odor. With oxygen, acetylene burns at very high temperatures which makes it invaluable for cutting, texturing, hardening, flame gouging and thermal spraying of many different kinds of materials. 


Acetylene is produced as a chemical reaction between calcium carbide and water which occurs at normal temperatures. Another process called thermal cracking requires high temperatures. Acetylene is very reactive and can be hazardous if combined with other gasses like oxygen. Because of this, it must be stored and handled with absolute care. 

The Industrial Uses of Acetylene

Welding, Cutting, and Heat Treating

Acetylene creates the hottest flame of any welding fuel. High temperatures mean acetylene is perfect to cut metals and heat treat them as part of many industrial processes. Welding equipment that uses acetylene can be very versatile as they do not require electricity. This allows acetylene based equipment to be used in remote locations where an electrical connection is not possible. 


Calcium carbide was once used to light streetlamps and as an early light source for lighthouses as it produced an intense, bright light. Most early automobiles used this form of lighting before electric headlights were commercially available. Since this form of lighting used a highly-reactive substance, most lighting applications of acetylene moved on to safer solutions but calcium carbide is still used in some cases for mining and underground use. 

Chemical production

Acetylene is used in the synthesis of certain vitamins like vitamin A and D. Also it can be used to create complex chemical compounds that make up perfumes and solvents. 

Polyethylene Plastics

PVC and PVDF plastics are produced from ethylene or methane which in turn come from acetylene. These are sturdy plastics that are used in common household products and as durable and weather-resistant building materials. 

How to Safely Use Acetylene

Our acetylene is dissolved as a solvent which prevents decomposition and allows us to store greater quantities of it under lower pressure. Always use an acetylene canister in an unright position and in well-ventilated areas. Acetylene is lighter than air which means it can be trapped in roof spaces and empty areas that have inadequate ventilation or no extraction. 

The Right Product, Every Time

CK Supply provides acetylene cylinders in a variety of sizes or pressures, for any commercial or industrial purpose. Our aim is to make sure you have the correct materials and chemicals on hand to produce your products, fuel your processes, and get projects done the right way. If you need high-grade industrial acetylene in any quantity, for any industrial use, call CK today!

Food-Grade Gases

Gas Spotlight: Propane

Purity Plus Gases

While bulk industrial gases are certainly in our wheelhouse, CK Supply can provide a full catalog of specialty gases for many applications.

Product Spotlight: Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is one of the most abundant chemicals found in nature. It is found in the atmosphere, dissolved in water, used by plants to form food by photosynthesis, and expelled from vehicles as a byproduct of combustion. It is slightly toxic, odorless, colorless, and in large quantities has a slightly acidic taste. Producing carbon dioxide as an industrial product requires that it be recovered and purified from a relatively high-volume, CO2-rich gas stream, generally a stream created as an unavoidable byproduct of a large-scale chemical production process or some form of biological process. 

Where CO2 Comes From

Carbon dioxide is mainly a byproduct of industrial processes and while it can be distilled from air like argon or nitrogen this process is inefficient to produce CO2 in quantities needed for industrial use. The CO2 we provide is recovered and purified for commercial and industrial uses. 

The Industrial Uses of CO2

Carbon dioxide is a common and versatile chemical that has many business uses. All of these uses take advantage of one or more of the major characteristics of this gas: inertness, reactivity, or its low freezing point. 


One of the most important uses of CO2 is when it is used as a shield gas for MIG/MAG welding, where the gas is used to protect the weld puddle against oxidation caused by the surrounding air. A mixture of argon and carbon dioxide is used to reduce the need for post-weld treatments. 

Dry Ice for Quick Refrigeration

High-pressure liquid CO2 can be sprayed onto food products to flash freeze them through the process of sublimation, in which a solid goes directly to a gas state.


CO2 does not burn or support combustion, and air with more than 10% of carbon dioxide will extinguish an open flame. CO2 removes oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere, which makes it an effective substance for firefighting. It can be found in household fire extinguishers all the way to industrial fire suppression systems and even airports to control jet fuel fires.

Circuit Board Assembly

CO2 is an important gas to the electronics industry. Semiconductor surfaces need to be cleaned during the manufacturing process and a constant supply os CO2 is a safe way to keep these surfaces clean. 

Petroleum Extraction

Carbon dioxide is used to maintain pressure in oil wells for oil extraction. When CO2 is pumped into an oil well, it is partially dissolved into the oil, making it less viscous and easier to recover. 

Other Commercial Uses of Carbon Dioxide

  • As a propellant in aerosol cans to replace less environmentally friendly alternatives. 
  • To carbonate soft drinks, beer, and sparkling wine, and as an agent to prevent bacterial and fungal growth in beverages. 
  • To displace air in the canning process and keep foods fresh during transportation and storage.
  • Dry ice pellets are used instead of sand when sandblasting paint from surfaces to reduce the cost of cleanup.
  • CO2 is expelled by yeast which creates a rising action in bread.

The Right Product, Every Time

CK Supply provides carbon dioxide gas cylinders in a variety of sizes or pressures, as a refrigerated liquid, or as dry ice. Our aim is to make sure you have the correct materials and chemicals on hand to produce your products, fuel your processes, and get projects done the right way. If you need carbon dioxide in any quantity, for any industrial use, either in bulk delivery or temporarycall CK today!

How Our Gas Cylinders Are Labeled

At CK Supply, we label each cylinder we produce for tracking purposes and so users can easily identify what’s inside. Besides barcoded labels, the important information about each cylinder is stenciled into the metal.