Sulfur hexafluoride properties
Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is mainly used for electrical applications because of its insulating properties. That’s why it can be used in electrical cabinets, power transformers and capacitors… It is also used as a tracer for detecting gas leaks or monitoring freon-powered cooling systems. It is applied in the medical field as well as a contrasting agent for cardiac and vascular examination.
|CAS||TWA (8 hours)||STEL (15 minutes)||LEL||IP||Density / Air||Filter / SCBA|
|2551-62-4||1 000 ppm||–||–||19.3 eV||5.11||SCBA|
Sulfur hexafluoride effects on health
Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is colorless, odorless, heavier than air and is not considered as toxic. However it is suffocating at high concentrations (it replaces oxygen) just like inert gases (also called noble gases). Sulfur hexafluoride has no lower and upper explosive limits but can severely react with disilane and form a dangerous explosive gas mixture.
SF6 easily hydrolyses into fluorinated compounds in water (thionyl fluoride and hydrogen fluoride) that are extremely toxic and corrosive substances. And it is part of the six gases responsible of greenhouse effects covered by the Kyoto Protocol (one kilogram exhausted in the air equals around 23,000 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) on the long run).