GASTEC CORPORATION - For all types of gas and vapour

Gas detector tubes (and some relevant industrial standards)

Gas detector tubes

GASTEC gas detector tubes are thin glass tubes with calibration scales printed on them so you can directly read the concentrations of the substances (gases and vapours) to be measured. Each tube contains a particulate matrix (e.g. silica gel, alumina), which binds carefully selected and highly stable detection reagents that are especially sensitive to the target substance in order to produce a distinct layer of colour change. The tubes are hermetically sealed at both ends.
Today over 600 types of target gas can be measured.


  • On-site measurements can be performed easily by anybody, anytime and anywhere, in a short time
  • Easy-to-check direct reading possible due to calibrated scale directly printed on the tube
  • An extensive measuring range can be obtained by adjusting the sampling volume
  • In order to assure high precision, each production lot is tested and calibrated independently, Each detector tube has its own quality control number printed on the tube
  • Long shelf-life with excellent long-term stability
About operating environment

Most tubes can be used in the temperature range of 0 - 40ºC and relative humidity range of 0- 90%. However, a few tubes have different temperature or humidity ranges. Please refer to the instruction manuals before use.

Gas sampling pump

The handy design GASTEC GV-100 cylinder pump, with an inner capacity of 100mL, weighs only 240g. It is designed for use with almost all GASTEC short-term measurement detector tubes.

Relevant industrial standards

In Japan, there initially were no designated industrial standards for detector tubes besides industrial standard JIS M 7605/JIS M 7650 for carbon-monoxide detectors (originally developed to ensure mining safety) and certain other standards pertaining to specific gas analysis (e.g. exhaust gas measurement, or for impurities in compressed air or household gas in pressure cylinders, etc.) that also apply to certain detector tubes. It was not until 1985, that a comprehensive standard that regulates detector tubes was established: JIS K 0804. This standard applies to all concentration (%) based measuring equipment for use in work environments (so it is not limited to detector tubes) and is unprecedented in its comprehensiveness.

Other standards

Of course, there are many other standards pertaining to detector tubes, for instance, the International Organization for Standardization(ISO) 17621:2015 or the international standard of International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). However, these all deal primarily with the immediate working environment and do not go as far as the JIS standards in regulating the actual process control. The following table provides an overview and comparison of the aforementioned standards.

Comparison of major international industrial standards

Performance requirements /
name of standard
JIS K 0804 ISO17621:2015 lUPAC ANSl / ISEA
Sampling pump Volume (capacity) ±5% ±5ml ±5% ±5%
Air tightness max.3% max.3ml max. 3%/min. max. 3%/min.
Air intake rate Deviation in inner storage capacity
- - ±10%
Durability must still satisfy above requirement after 1000 consecutive pump strokes Deviation in volume (capacity) after 1000 consecutive pump strokes
- Deviation in volume (capacity) after 10 consecutive pump strokes
Detector tube vertical spread in detection reagent max.2mm - max.2mm max.2mm
Dispersion in tip of colour change max.20% max.20% max.20% max.20%
Indicability 1 at least 1/3 of calibrated scale
read value ±25%
mean value ±15%
expanded uncertainty
1, 2, or 5 x MPC
1, 2, or 5 x MPC
2 max. 1/3 of calibrated scale
read value ±35%
mean value ±25%
0.5 x MPC
0.5 x MPC
Length of discolouration - - min.15mm min.15mm
International Union of Pure and Applied ChemistryPerformance Standard for Detector Tube Units used to monitor gases and vapours in working areas
American National Standards
Institute Industrial Safety Equipment Association
ISO 17621:2015
Workplace atmospheres — Short term detector tube measurement systems — Requirements and test methods