What Dye Tracing is All About

What is Dye Tracing Infographics

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Dye tracing is all about using dye for tracing and tracking various flows added to a specific liquid. In other words, the liquid will use dye to trace a certain flow. The purposes of tracking may be analyzing the flow specifically. It can also be for transporting something using the flow and the object that conveys the flows. This is all actually a new way of doing a float trace method which has been around for ages. Basically, this consists of throwing an object that is buoyant into a flow of water to see where it emerges or where it goes. Tracking using dye can be quantitative. This means that special instruments will be used to measure the amount of traced dye. In addition, it can also be qualitative. This means that it measures the estimate and the presence of a specified flow.

Rapid Dissolving

The dye used for water tracing rapidly dissolves in water. This produces an easy to see, vivid colour utilized for tracing diffusion. These are great for identifying dispersion and diffusion patterns. These are also excellent for identifying seepage areas, discharge locations and flow rates. You can also use this for sea marking. The dyes you should use for tracing need to be certified by the NSF and approved by the EPA. For water that is opaque, fuzzy or liquid yellowed with the growth of algae, which one should you use? Definitely the one called fluorescent red dye as a water tracing device. You can use this with an ultraviolet lamp to trace red fluorescent dyes when it is hard to detect with normal vision. These dye types can be utilized for tracing sources of leaks in automotive and mechanical systems such as radiators, transmissions and brake lines. Dye tracers come in the form of powder, liquid or tablet. Tablets are quick to dissolve but tend to be limited to systems with smaller volumes. Any system can be used with liquid dye tracers. However, in size and weight, liquid is the bulkiest. For systems with the largest volume, powder dyes are best. You can find the perfect dye to meet your needs at Keycolour.

Using Fluorescent Dye

For these purposes, the fluorescent dyes are often used. In particular, fluorescent dyes are used in certain situations such as:

  • When a fluorometer measures required and precise quantitative data
  • When very small dye amounts are allowed to be added such as when there needs to be a detection of one part for every trillion.
  • When lighting is not sufficient such as in cave waters or in sewers.

Developed in the year eighteen seventy one, fluorescein is among the first of types of fluorescent dyes. Several years later, the trademark Uranine consisted of its disodium salt. To this day, fluorescent dyes remain to be the best for tracing. Other tracer dyes that are popular include sulforhodamine, pyranine and rhodamine.

Methods for Tracing

The environment differentiates flowing water. This has specific factors affecting the performance of a dye. In a water flow, natural fluorescence sometimes causes interference with specific dye types. Also, the presence of sunlight, chemicals and other organics are able to influence dye intensity. Every area sampled should be analyzed by an instrument that is quantitative to test the fluorescence in the background.

There are important factors of performance in every dye that makes it possible to distinguish them in a variety of setting. Each factor influences how dyes interact and how the environment affects each one. For this reason, one dye is quite useful in one environment. At the same time, this same dye can then be useless in another. Factors such as these affect performance:

  • Limited use in acidic water
  • The loss in surface water
  • Absorption resistance

Quantitative Tracing

The first tech-assisted method of using dye to trace was actually carbon sampling. This was based on how dye was absorbed in charcoal. Packets of charcoal can be put along the flow’s expected route. Later, you could extract the chemicals of the collected dye and subjectively do an evaluation of its amount.

The first device that was able to detect concentrations of dye beyond the sensitivity of the human eye was called filter fluorometers.
Later, in the mid eighties, it became possible to do advanced fluorescence analysis using spectrofluorometers.

These two devices, spectrofluorometers and filter fluorometers identify how intense fluorescence is present in a sample of liquid. Various chemicals and dyes produce specific wavelengths that when analyzed, can be determined.

Biology and Medicine

You can use dye tracing for analyzing the circulation of blood in various parts of animals and human beings. For instance, one technique of analysing retina circulation is using fluorescent angiography. This method is used for the diagnosis of various diseases of the eye.

Fluorometers are currently capable of tracking single molecules that are fluorescent. It is thus a possibility to track single cell migrations tagged by fluorescent molecules. For instance in flow cytometry, cell sorting that is fluorescent-activated makes it a possibility to distinguish which cells have attached molecules that are fluorescence from specified flows.

Dye Tracing Applications

  • Tracing Water
  • Doing an analysis of storm water and sewer drainage
  • Natural analysis of water flows including groundwater filtration, water flows, ocean currents, lakes and rivers.
  • Pollution studies
  • Checking for tapping illegally
  • Leak detection
  • Piping tracing or plumbing tracing

In conclusion, invisible and non-toxic fluorescent dyes are frequently added to systems of water in order to provide data about velocity and water discharge. Studies about dye tracing can provide educational information for modelling groundwater and surface systems aside from contaminants of tracing. Researchers are allowed by fluorometers to measure dye concentrations which are ultra low. With extreme instrument flexibility and sensitivity, a researcher can glean great data that is missed, potentially, when you methods that are less sensitive are found. For instance, you want to know exactly where the river flows, or if there are any leaks to plumbing pipes that flow into rivers. There is nothing but fluorescent dyes that could help you determine these things.

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