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This paper describes the role of data center particulate and gaseous contamination on computer reliability and the most effective means of monitoring the data center environment for corrosive particulates and gases. Dust settled on printed circuit boards can lead to the electrical short circuiting of closely spaced features. Dust can also corrode circuit board metallic traces and components. Dust can enter electrical connectors causing power connectors to overheat and signal connectors to become electrically noisy. Gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and chlorine, can corrode hardware. Presence of moisture can greatly accelerate the rate of corrosion. Presence of dust can also hasten the gaseous corrosion by providing surfaces on which gases can be adsorbed. The corrosivity of the dust can be passively monitored by collecting the dust and testing it in a laboratory using interdigitated comb coupons. The corrosivity of gases can be passively monitored by using environmental reactive coupons. Real-time continuous monitoring of corrosivity of gases can also be done by commercially available monitors.

Units: SI


Citation: ASHRAE Transactions, vol. 115, pt. 1, Chicago 2009