Even a tiny flaw in a seal or container can have severe consequences when handling liquid or gas compounds. Leak detection equipment is an essential part of the storage and transportation process, particularly for volatile or toxic substances that could pose an imminent threat to other people. There are several techniques commonly used to identify leaks in packages, so test selection depends on the size and type of the container in question.
Bubble Emission Test
As its name suggests, the bubble emission test requires submersing the container in water to see if it releases visible bubbles. This test requires a vacuum pump, since all the air must be removed from the water chamber after the package is submerged. The package will expand slightly once the air is gone, which forces the air inside the container to come out if it can.
Those conducting the test must be careful about the potential for false positive results, since small air bubbles can get trapped on the outside of the container when it is submerged. This test also takes at least 30 seconds per container, which can be impractically slow depending on the type of product. However, bubble emission is a popular choice because it is relatively cheap and reliable.
Vacuum Package Test
The vacuum package test is a variant of the bubble emission method that is specifically designed for containers that are packed or unpacked with a vacuum. It requires a small attachment that maintains stability and integrity of the container while submerged. With the exception of additional Leak Detection Equipment required to test vacuum packages, the results and reliability of this method are the same as bubble emission.
Dry Chamber Test
The dry chamber method was developed primarily to test smaller packages that contained a liquid compound. Since these packages are designed to conserve space, they generally have little air trapped inside. Instead of submerging them in liquid, this test requires an absorbent material to be wrapped around the container in a vacuum environment. The container passes the dry chamber test if no liquid was forced out of the container by the suction.
Altitude Simulation Test
Air pressure has a profound effect on packages and components that store liquid or gas substances. The altitude simulation test creates an artificial environment that mimics the low pressure situation the container might encounter. It uses a method similar to the dry chamber that subjects the package to a low pressure environment. This change can alter the properties of compounds, causing them to burst through faulty or poorly designed containers.
The Benefits of Advanced Leak Detection Equipment
Leaks are not only messy and potentially dangerous, they can also lead to significant financial loss for companies transporting valuable products or materials. It doesn’t take much to allow gas or liquid to escape, so it’s important to make sure all packages are in perfect condition before putting them to use. Leak detection tests are easy to do, require little investment and produce reliable results.