Leakage Testing

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maximator-test-pressure-testing-leak-test

Leakage Testing

What is a Leak?

A leak can be defined as a change in pressure from high to low, typically a consequence of an unintended hole or crack. When an internal component or pressure vessel is above normal atmospheric pressure it is said to be in a state of positive pressure, if a seal or crack bridges the sealed positive pressure area with a lower pressure region or atmospheric pressure region the positive pressure will escape and decay or defuse to a lower pressure; the location of escaping pressure is the leakage location.

Types of Leak Testing at Maximator Test

Here at Maximator Test we conduct variations of leak tests such as:

We typically conduct leak testing with the goal of improving high pressure component designs, identify the minimum and maximum burst pressure, leak testing that focuses on proving seals or component designs (proving that a component can hold pressure by reaching or dwelling at a certain pressure) or cause a pressurized component to leak or burst and locate the failure location.

What leak testing technique to use?

Some key information and questions to ask at the start of any leak test requirement are:

  • What size is the component and what is its internal volume?
  • What is the leak limit?
  • Is it rigid or flexible?
  • Are parts at ambient temperature?
  • Is there access to inside or is it a sealed unit?
  • Are the parts clean and dry?
  • What is the surface finish of any sealing surfaces?

There are numerous reasons for Leak Testing:

  • Economic – To prevent material loss that interferes with system operation.
  • Safety – Prevent fire, explosion and environmental contamination.
  • Reliability – Detect unreliable components, and those with leakage rates that exceed standards.

Leakage Testing is an important process to measure the reliability of the system under test.

Leakage testing can show a fundamental fault of the system and high leakage rates in specific areas may be determined:

  • Gasket improperly aligned.
  • Valve connections misaligned or improperly threaded.

Diesel fuel common rails, high pressure fuel lines, heat exchangers, and other fluid systems are sometimes tested for leaks – to see if there is any leakage and to find where the leaks are so corrective action can be taken.

There are several methods for leak testing, depending on the situation and required sensitivity. Leak testing techniques must be of proper sensitivity for the scope of the test, and also provide economic value for the technique to be desirable for the application.

Liquid immersion, liquid film and foam application are three techniques that classify how liquid can be used for leak detection. Radiators, tires and maybe some other smaller vessels may be tested by pressurizing them with air and submerging them in water to see where air bubbles come out to indicate a leak. If submerging in water is not possible, then pressurization with air followed by covering the area to be tested with a soap solution is done to see if soap bubbles form, which indicate a leak.

Testing for gas leaks may involve testing for the out leaking gases with sensors which can detect that gas, for example – special sensing instruments for detecting helium gas. When liquids are used, special color dyes or tracers may be added to help identify the leak site.

Newly manufactured, fabricated, or repaired vessel systems are sometimes tested to verify production requirements or repairs. A vessel or system is sometimes pressure tested by filling with air and the pressure monitored to see if it drops over time, indicating a leak. A safer alternative is a hydrostatic test, sometimes called a pressure test. In a hydrostatic test, a system is pressurized with water to look for a drop in pressure or to see where it leaks out.

Leakage Testing Applications

  • High pressure diesel fuel common rails and fuel lines, adaptors and fittings.
  • Vessels, enclosures, ducting, hydraulic hoses, valves, tubes and other hydraulic products.
  • Automobile pump brake system or components, power steering lines.
  • Shell and tube heat exchangers
  • High pressure and ultra-high pressure hoses, hydraulic pressure hoses, expansion, radiator and steering booster hoses, aerospace hoses, pipes and tubes.
  • Essentially any application of pressure containing products…

At Maximator Test we can assist with your pressure testing projects from beginning to end. We can work with you to determine a test procedure for your product, follow testing protocols issued by your customer or industry standards. We can also assist with fixture design and development to ensure your product is tested to your satisfaction.

At Maximator Test we can assist with your pressure testing projects from beginning to end. We can work with you to determine a test procedure for your product, follow testing protocols issued by your customer or industry standards. We can also assist with fixture design and development to ensure your product is tested to your satisfaction.

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