Wednesday, 14 January 2015

What is Helium leak testing and why should you use it?

Helium leak testing is normally able to be conducted both on and off site, meaning all types of
customer can be catered for, thanks to portable technology in the leak testing industry. It is now possible to have even the smallest leaks located in any pressure system . Through use of vacuum, hermetic and many more systems, it is possible to locate leaks in any industry, application or equipment.
Helium leak testing is an incredibly effective and accurate process that allows one to seek out leaks in pipe work or components. Helium is pumped through the components and will immediately show any sections that are damaged, leaking and is in need of replacement. There are two primary methods; sniff testing and spray testing. On-site sniff testing consists of the pressurising of component with helium. Consequently, any leaks will be easily identified through its release into the atmosphere. Using a leak detector, the Sniff test will each weld and joint within the assembled component of the system to check for a leak.
Spray testing is used to a higher specification when compared to sniff testing. The component or pipe work will be evacuated using a portable vacuum pump and it will be linked to a helium leak detector. The system will be initiated to create the required vacuum level, whereby helium will be sprayed outside of the component to start the leak checking process. Spraying helium on these joints will allow any leaks to be detected, as the helium will be drawn into the pipe or component by the vacuum and sensed by the leak detector equipment.
Helium is used to test for pipe and component leaks because it is incredibly rare in the atmosphere, making it easier to find a leak. Its tiny molecular size enables it to penetrate tiny holes that many other testing fluids and gases simply cannot do, so you can be sure that you will have a perfectly functioning piece of equipment should these processes not notify you of any damages.