Resources

Applications-Based Engineering

 

Advanced Solutions Engineers

of Air and Tracer Gas Leak Detection  and Integrated Systems

Vacuum Instruments Corporation, LLC custom engineers standard units and systems to application requirements and product, device, and component testing needs.

In addition to standard units, Vacuum Instruments Corporation offers unsurpassed capabilities with over 70 years of application based air and tracer gas leak detection engineering experience.

Our engineering knowledge includes a diverse set of industrial applications, environments and industries, including the following quality device, components, and product testing industries: 

  • Automotive
  • Medical
  • Aerospace
  • Semi-conductor
  • Electronics
  • Opto-electronics
  • Chemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Science and technology
  • Food and Beverage Packaging
  • Packaging
  • HVAC
  • Appliance
  • Refrigeration
  • Utilities

Send us your application requirements, leak detection rate requirements, project engineering specifications, and product/device/component being tested, so we can design a leak detection and integrated systems solution that’s right for you.

For assistance with a specific application or custom engineering of a leak detection machine, contact us at:

Submit Requirements Via Email or Call 1-888-819-9970 

 

Global Engineers Of Leak Detection Solutions

Global Engineers of Air/Vacuum/Tracer Gas Leak Detection

Over 70 Years of Custom, Application- Based Engineering Experience

In addition to standard units, Vacuum Instruments Corporation offers unsurpassed capabilities with over 70 years of application based air/vacuum/tracer gas leak detection solutions and custom engineered systems experience.

Our engineering knowledge includes a diverse set of product, device and component applications, custom engineering our standard units and systems to customer requirements.

Custom Engineering of Standard Units and Systems To Meet Customer Requirements

For assistance with a specific application or custom engineering:

 

Air/Vacuum Standard Units

Can be custom engineered to customer requirements. Send us your application via

Email or Call 1-888-819-9970 

Tracer Gas Standard Units

Can be custom engineered to customer requirements. Send us your application via

Email or Call 1-888-819-9970 

Air/Vacuum Systems

Can be custom engineered to customer requirements Send us your application via

Email or Call 1-888-819-9970 

Tracer Gas Systems

Can be custom engineered to customer requirements. Send us your application via

Email or Call 1-888-819-9970 

Gas Handling Systems

Can be custom engineered to customer requirements. Send us your application via

Email or Call 1-888-819-9970 

View Popular Leak Rate Chart

Determining Leak Rate Specifications

Leak Rate Sensitivity Guide

Leak Rate Sensitivity Guide

Determining Leak Rates

Leak Detection Sensitivity Guide

Application Case Studies

View Popular Leak Rate Chart

 

Zero Leakage sounds ideal, but nothing made by man can be considered to be absolutely leak tight.  Even in the absence of minute porosity, the permeation of certain gases through metals, crystals, polymers, and glasses still occurs.  Therefore, specifications for leakage should always be expressed in maximum allowable leak rate, or maximum tolerable leak rate.

Dimensions of Leakage Units: A leak is always measured in terms of mass flow, i.e., a given volume of gas or liquid for a specified time interval, such as oz/yr, grams/yr, gallons/hour, drops/min, cc/sec, etc.

The formula for determining the rate of gas leakage is:
Pressure x Volume / Time, at a given temperature.
In leakage work, mass flow is typically in Atm–cc/sec at 25 deg. C.

Reasons for Leakage Testing
Rapid, nondestructive methods for the detection of gas and liquid leakage in sealed systems are of great industrial and commercial importance.  The operational reliability of such systems are greatly increased when considerable attention is paid to the leak testing of individual components as well, as that of the final assembly.

Leak testing is performed for four basic reasons:
1. To prevent material loss by leakage.
2. To prevent contamination, creation of hazardous conditions, short product life or disfigurement by leakage.
3. To detect faulty components and control the reliability of the product.
4. To reduce warranty cost.

Please see this link for the most current Popular Tracer Gases Leak Rate Summary

 

 

 

Service and Support Programs

testing

Service

Vacuum Instruments Corporation, LLC offers a variety of support programs designed to help reduce downtime and minimize operating costs.

For 24 Hour Emergency Service call: 1-800-221-2440

Individual service contracts are available for scheduled maintenance of leak detection equipment—at your facility or ours. Each plan is individually designed to meet the requirements of your application, your level of equipment usage, and your overall in-house maintenance and operator status.

Field service by factory-trained VIC engineers provide unparalleled process application expertise directly to your production line. VIC’s service centers in the USA, Mexico and Europe permit rapid response—typically within 24 hours of request.

Training is available for all VIC leak detection products with a variety of standard programs on your premises or ours, or we can customize a training program specific to your individual requirements.

Repair and Overhaul Services VIC offers comprehensive factory service for our leak detectors, an excellent value for revitalizing equipment and returning it to production-worthy status. VIC does not charge any evaluation fee for complete leak detectors: customers are provided with a written quotation outlining the repair service required; repairs are conducted only upon customer authorization. Lead time is typically 1 to 2 weeks after authorization.

Exchange Service VIC provides factory refurbished, repaired or recalibrated assemblies that are ready for immediate installation. Most exchange items are available within 24-48 hours, to minimize customer-downtime as well as their inventory of spare parts.

Upgrade Packages bring new life to your leak detection system

Recalibration Services include a certificate with traceability to N.I.S.T. on all of our manufactured leaks and all non-VIC manufactured leak standards as well. Exchanges are available on all SC7 gas leaks with lead times of one-to-two weeks.

For more information contact VIC

Information Request Form

Sniffing test of a pressurized object

MD-490S Helium and MD-490S Dual-Gas Sniffers

MD-490S Helium and MD-490S Dual-Gas Sniffers

 The test part is pressurized with tracer gas or a gas mixture containing the tracer gas.  After that, the sniffer probe is moved around the part.  If a leak is present, the leak detector will detect the escaping tracer gas, allowing leak localization.

 Throughput and hose length of the sniffer probe have influence on the signal response time and displayed intensity.  This is ideal for high special resolution of leak localization.  For fast measurement one should use a sniffer probe with high gas throughput.

 A sniffer probe should always be located as closely to the leak as possible.  Sniffing velocity should be in the range of 1 cm per second.  Since there is a time delay due to gas transport though the sniffer line the operator will have passed the leak once the maximum signal is displayed.

 Sniffing test is regarded as localization method, not a quantitative one.  Distance from the leak and tilt of the sniffer probe have an influence on the test result.  However, one can also achieve quantitative results with sniffer probes.

Main advantages:
-Ability to locate the leak
-The item to be tested does not need to be placed under vacuum
-Easy to perform
-Detector cost only, no tooling

VIC, LLC offers portable atmospheric sniffing leak detectors for both helium or helium/hydrogen applications.  The MD-490S/Dual Gas utilizes VIC’s own industrial-grade mass spectrometer to achieve the highest sensitivity, fastest response-time, and smallest footprint. 

Leak Testing Electric Vehicle Batteries

Six-station Li-ion Battery Test Station Whether it’s in response to soaring gas prices or global warming, more and more people are looking into fuel-efficient, cleaner-running cars, such as hybrid electric vehicles and fully electric vehicles.

 Lithium-ion batteries play a key role in these vehicles, having the greatest charge capacity over competing battery technologies.  Just like with fuel rails and other automotive components that require leak testing these batteries are tested with a helium hard-vacuum system.

 VIC, LLC designs and builds custom tracer gas leak detection systems to test these power cells, several at a time.  Each chamber is provided with its own product evacuation, charging, venting and valve scheme.  A common dry vacuum pump with vacuum ballast provides the vacuum source.  During the initial chamber evacuation, the system will perform a fitting-in-place check using a pressure transducer.  This check is a pretest of seal integrity prior to evacuating the product and charging it with helium.  After a successful vacuum decay test, the part is back-filled with helium to a specified pressure.  After completion of all tests, the test part is vented to atmospheric pressure and re-evacuated to remove all residual helium before the part is unloaded.

More VIC, LLC’s applications expertise.

Leak Testing High-Pressure Fuel Rails

Fuel Rail in VIC, LLC Test Chamber

Fuel Rail in VIC, LLC Test Chamber

 Lower fuel consumption requirements warrant the need for high pressure fuel injection.  Fuel rails need to be tested for leaks during component production at a supplier level to prevent leakage in then engine compartment.  High-pressure, direct-injection fuel rails have a maximum allowable leak rate spec of 10-4 atmospheric cubic centimeters per second (atm-cc/sec).  Leak testing fuel rails with helium, often with the fuel injectors installed, in a vacuum chamber is a common process.

 A fuel rail is essentially a tube that delivers gasoline to individual fuel injectors in an internal combustion engine.  Formerly, vehicle manufacturers designed fuel rails to withstand pressures of only 30 to 60 psig, a minimum requirement for port injection.  Nowadays, to meet more stringent standards for fuel economy, emissions, and efficiency, fuel rails have been redesigned to withstand much higher pressures—up to 5,000 psig and beyond.

Greater test pressures mean greater helium usage, warranting the need for a helium recovery system.  In order to avert additional helium costs associated with the higher test pressures, many companies have installed a VIC helium recovery system that would reclaim up to 98% of the helium used.  Even with the cost of the recovery system and the installation to retrofit a customer’s machines, the cost of the new system can be recouped in a little over a six-month period.

Helium Accumulation Test Method

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In the accumulation test method, helium escaping the part is allowed to accumulate in an enclosure that surrounds the part at atmospheric pressure. The accumulated helium is then mixed and sampled by a mass spectrometer

 The accumulation method is comparable to a sniffing leak test.  Helium escaping the test part is allowed to accumulate in an enclosure that surrounds the part at atmospheric pressure.  The accumulated helium is then mixed and sampled by a mass spectrometer.

 The accumulation test has advantages in that it does not require expensive vacuum chambers or vacuum pumps.  It also tests for overall part leakage, unlike the sniffing method.  This test method can detect leaks as small as 1 x 10-5 atm- cc/sec, depending on the size of the part and requisite cycle time.

 As with the hard-vacuum method, production rates vary with the helium accumulation method, from 25 seconds per part to 600 parts per seven-hour shift, depending on the configuration of the system (single chamber, dual chamber, etc.).  And, as with the hard- vacuum method, parts can be loaded and unloaded manually or robotically, depending upon the size and weight of the test part.  Automatic tooling features are also available to facilitate connection and sealing.

 For testing automotive radiators, the chamber is typically box-shaped, with a pair of gear-driven, vertically mounted, double-tooled stainless steel doors.  Torque converters require a bell-type, stainless steel upper chamber.

 More on Accumulation Leak Testing

Helium Hard-Vacuum Test Method

	 This high-volume automotive condenser leak-test system is efficiently based on our Industrial Leak Detection division’s MD-490 series helium leak detector.


This high-volume automotive condenser leak-test system is efficiently based on our Industrial Leak Detection division’s MD-490 series helium leak detector.

 The hard-vacuum method can detect leaks as small as 1 x 10-9 atm-cc/sec.  Any leaks in the test part can be measured from the inside-out or outside-in.

 For inside-out leak detection, the test part can be filled with helium and sealed; it can be “bombed” with helium after it is sealed; or it can be pressurized with helium during the actual test.  Then, the part is placed in a vacuum chamber; the chamber is evacuated; and the test instrument (a mass spectrometer) looks for helium escaping from the part into the chamber.
For outside-in leak detection, the test part is evacuated and connected to the mass spectrometer.  Then, helium is sprayed around suspected areas outside of the part.  If the part has a leak, helium will be drawn into the test part and be detected by the mass spectrometer.

 The inside-out method with a vacuum chamber has some advantages, as a sniffer is not used. Testing is automatic and not dependent on the operator.  The sensitivity achievable with this test is very high.

 Even with these advantages, however, cost is a consideration with the vacuum chamber inside-out method.  While the sniffing test requires only the leak detector and the ability of the operator, the hard-vacuum test requires more complex and expensive equipment.

 Ultimately, the best method to use comes down to the application.  The hard-vacuum method vastly reduces the incidence of human error, which makes it appealing in many industrial applications.  The sniffing test is better for maintenance applications and for identifying the location of leaks in defective parts.

 Production rates vary with the hard-vacuum test method.  Rates range from 100 parts per hour to more than 700 parts per hour, depending on the configuration of the system (single chamber, dual independent chambers, dual alternating chambers, or even multiple test stations).

 Systems differ in complexity, from manual loading and unloading by an operator to automatic loading and unloading with a robot.  Depending upon the size and weight of the test part, various cranes might even be used to load and unload parts.

 Some systems include modular vacuum chambers with wheels and quick connects for ease of changeover.  In addition, some models even provide a charge-head tooling feature for changeover to accommodate various test part shapes, sizes, and configurations.

More on HHV — vicleakdetection.com/products-services/hard-vacuum-systems/

Recalibration Services

cal-scQuality Control and Calibration Laboratory

We offer a full recalibration service for calibrated gas leaks manufactured by VIC and other companies from our new 3000 sq-ft calibration laboratory located in our New York headquarters.  Services include recalibrating and recharging with replacement of the precision element if breakage or clogging occurs, along with full N.I.S.T. recertification.

All gas leaks are individually recalibrated using the accumulation method in accordance with American Vacuum Society Standard 2.2-1968. This primary method approved by N.I.S.T. ensures the highest degree of accuracy, and unlike the commonly used secondary transfer method, VIC leak calibrations are not dependent upon electronic instrumentation.

Certificates of N.I.S.T. traceability are provided with each leak standard documenting the accuracy, and calibration parameters on all of our manufactured leaks and all non-VIC manufactured leak standards as well.  Exchanges are available on all certain model gas leaks with lead times of one-to-two weeks.

More on our calibrated gas leaks.

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