There is a good deal of talk today about the various uses of fluorescein (uranine) in various sectors, such as detecting and tracing leaks in buildings, environmental hydrological tracing or in industry more widely.
But it is important to know more about this fluorescent tracer, to discover its full potential and – above all – to understand fluorescein’s technical strengths and advantages when used in your job or profession.
FluoTechnik is Europe’s leading manufacturer and producer of fluorescent tracers for plotting and detecting leaks in buildings, industry and the natural environment. As a specialist in the sector, we are happy to answer your questions and steer you in the right direction.
Fluorescein (uranine) is a complex dye that is fluorescent green / yellow in daylight and fluorescent under UV light. The fact that fluorescein is a powerful dye, combined with its fluorescence properties, means that it is a highly-effective measuring device with numerous applications.
Fluorescein takes the form either of a red / orange powder or a concentrated liquid.
Fluorescein is a unique UV fluorescent tracer with a wide range of technical advantages:
First and foremost, fluorescein is non-polluting, non-toxic and biodegradable – an essential quality for all areas of use. As such, it is employed in natural and medical settings.
It is a tracing dye with a powerful tinting strength that emits a very bright colour (fluorescent yellow / yellow) for speedy, unambiguous visual tracking!
Fluorescein is a non-destructive tracing tool that can be used to gather valuable information before investing in heavy, expensive – and sometimes fruitless – work. It can also be used in tandem with other tracers (multi-tracing) to map complex pipe networks, plumbing systems, multiple terrace roofs, etc.
Fluorescein has fluorescence properties, meaning that it can be detected at very low doses using fluorimetry equipment. It can also be used for undertaking tracing work in the natural environment on high water volumes.
Its fluorescence under UV light also means that fluorescein is a very accurate and efficient diagnostic tool for pinpointing infiltrations in buildings and capillary rise as well as for investigating micro-leaks in difficult-to-access or poorly-lit areas.
Fluorescein does not adhere strongly to absorbent materials, which makes it easier to use and clean. However, in some sensitive cases, it is advisable to use other colourless tracers (visible only under UV) that we have specially formulated for this kind of use.
We work on a daily basis to give our customers the best guidance and advice. We have devised new roles for fluorescein and other tracers and have seen them develop over time, with many professions now using them on a regular basis.
What's more, the use of tracing is booming in many industries because it is so easy to use and is non-destructive and inexpensive – and, most of all, because tracing provides a wealth of information:
Hydrogeology and caving experts: for performing various environmental studies, transit and flow-rate studies, stream-flow measurements, leak-testing underground layers, etc.
The geothermal industry: uses fluorescein to track the spread of hot-water currents expelled into the sea.
Maritime and air safety: uses fluorescein as a visual marker when there is a disaster at sea to facilitate the identification of victims during rescue operations.
Plumbers / heating engineers: for tracing pipelines and investigating leaks in drinking-water networks and on floor heating systems, etc.
Property surveyors and inspectors, leak-detection specialists and construction legal experts: looking for underground hydraulic connections, leak investigation, studying the movement of infiltration water, etc.
Roofers / weather-proofers: use tracing for tightness testing and identifying leakage zones before or after work on roofs, terraces, balconies, etc.
Swimming pool technicians: for investigating leaks in private and community pools.
Local councils, municipality communities and water treatment companies: use it for flow-rate tests and ensuring the compliance of sanitation and rainwater drainage networks.
The chemical and petrochemical industry: for validating the compliance of underwater pipelines, storage-tank tightness, etc.
Hydropower plants: regularly use our tracers as part of their maintenance operations.
Agronomy: for studies on the impact of spreading of phytosanitary treatments.
Training centres: use it as a marker for raising awareness about good cleaning practices, handling dangerous products, etc.
Events companies: for dyeing bodies of water or in aquatic shows, etc.
As well as in many other professions and with many other applications!
You should be able to see things more clearly now thanks to this brief introduction! But remember: every project is unique. There are many advantages to using fluorescein, although it is important to be familiar with best practices and the various regulations. You should also seek advice for technical implementation in terms of the correct proportions, the forms of injection, etc.
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