Leak testing is a highly precise means of leak detection and is used to locate and quantify leaks in a wide variety of industries and applications, including: valves, vessels, heat exchangers, seals, flange connections, tubes, steam turbines and condensers, vacuum systems, distillation towers and many other systems and components.
There are different methods used to measure the amount of released media, and various media can be used as tracer gas. The tracer gas testing determines the change in concentration or an actual leak rate of a tracer gas on the lower pressure side of a test part. Typical tracer gases are helium & hydrogen. Sometimes it’s even possible to use the process fluid as a test gas (LDAR testing).
Selecting the best leak test method is actually an economic decision that balances the cost of meeting the leak test specifications within the conditions and requirements of production. While leak testing may look to be a simple procedure, the process involves a combination of both science and skills. The operator must ensure the equipment is functioning properly and the process is highly dependent upon the operator’s experience.