San Jose. California â€“ September, 2007 â€“ RAE Systems Inc. (AMEX: RAE), a leading global provider of rapidly deployable sensor networks that enable customers to identify safety and security threats in real time, was granted United States Patent Number 7,258,773 B2 for the first Solid Polymer Electrolyte (SPEâ„¢) Oxygen Sensor. The patent included 54 claims. This sensor technology will find applications in the industrial safety and first responder markets worldwide. Compared to other type oxygen sensors, it is unique in that is uses a solid polymer in combination with normally available air and moisture rather than the traditional hazardous electrolyte and lead wool. Three to five million oxygen sensors are currently being used in industrial applications. This new SPE O2 sensor is already available in RAE System's QRAE II four-gas monitor.
"With the growing number of global Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives, we are proud to be the first to bring a lead-free oxygen sensor to market," said Peter Hsi, chief technology office for RAE Systems. "This new sensor offers a longer operating life and avoids many of the problems with traditional oxygen sensors."
RAE Systems began technology research to eliminate lead in its oxygen sensors in 2004. Although gas sensors are currently exempt from these standards, RAE Systems initiated a RoHS compliance project as part of its leadership in the gas detection industry. The European RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC took effect on July 1, 2006, and the Chinese and California RoHS directives took effect January 1, 2007. These directives limit the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipment: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium (chromium VI or Cr6+), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE).