Leak detection – principles, use, methods


Global warming, climate change, the greenhouse effect - our modern industrialized lifestyle has a tremendous impact on the environment. As a result, environmental regulations for industrial companies are getting tougher all the time: Emissions of harmful gases and liquids need to be curbed, and the harmful impact of refrigerants, waste gases and propellants must be minimized. In view of this, industry requirements specifying the leak tightness of components have steadily grown during recent years.

Leak tightness testing – known as leak detection - is indispensable for meeting leak tightness specifications, as companies can only achieve this by using a wide range of leak detection methods. Various methods are available to meet the different leak tightness specifications.
It is enough in many cases to conduct a qualitative test that merely shows the existence of a leak. However, it is also necessary to assess the leak rate if specific quality requirements and customers’ specifications have to be met. Against this background, most of the well-known leak detection methods can be ruled out.

The only methods that are suitable to provide quantitative verification of leaks are leak detection methods using sniffer and tracer gases (with helium, for example) and pressure drop and pressure rise methods.

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