Tracer-gas leak testing method is a nondestructive testing method. The concept of the tracer gas leak test system is to trace escaped gases that exist at a low concentration in the atmosphere. Tracer-gas Leak Detectors and Testers offer more advantages than conventional Pressure Decay Leak Detectors. Tracer gas leak testing method is typically used for refrigerant, hydrocarbon & other gas analyzers. Tracer-gas leak testing allows measurement of very small leaks, overcomes the limitations of large volumes, thermal effects and long stabilisation times, and permits tracing of the exact leak location. It even works for buried pipes and cables.

Types of Tracer-Gas Leak Detection & Testing

  • Helium Leak Detection & Testing: Leak search and leak rate measurements with helium tracer gas and sensing of this noble gas with mass spectrometer leak detectors has won such a large significance that this method can be marked as the most important leak detection method nowadays.
  • Hydrogen Leak Detection & Testing: Hydrogen is a cheaper gas, but is also hazardous at concentrations above 4%. Therefore it becomes interesting to search for leaks with a test gas mixture of 5% hydrogen and 95% nitrogen. This gas mixture is neither inflammable nor explosive. The use of a mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen as a tracer offers major advantages compared with more established helium tracer.
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Leak Detection & Testing: Carbon Dioxide has a lower sensitivity to tests and is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Applications of Tracer-Gas Leak Detection & Testing

  • Leak detection and testing in Chemical plants
  • Petrochemical plant: hydrocracker, vapocracker, catalytic reforming, steam reforming are all Hydrogen based processes were Hydrogen leak testing will be very appropriate
  • Semiconductor Industry: all processes taking place in a process chamber at atmospheric pressure or under vacuum; Diffusion, Oxidation, LPCVD, PECVD, PVD, Etch, Ion Implant, typically the later that implies vacuum will require Helium leak testing, while the other will make good use of Hydrogen leak testing
  • Automotive Leak Detection & Testing: with airbag being the most demanding leak testing application (small gas tank, very high pressure, long shelf life) and air conditioning system (for best efficiency), fuel system (for low emission), exhaust system (for lowest pollution), engine and transmission (for no oil dripage), rims to keep tyre safe
  • Medical Equipment Leak Detection & Testing: to ensure safe and long life implant (pacemaker) or a safe catheter
  • Airplane & Aerospace Component Leak Detection & Testing: to quickly and safely locate fuel leaks, to check oxygen distribution devices and cabin pressurization systems
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning systems-residential, commercial or industrial- in order to deliver best efficiency at the lowest loss rate of refrigerant gases (ozone depletion)
  • Power distribution for high voltage circuit breaker using SF6 as a dielectric
  • Drinking water distribution grid as today average leakage rate or efficiency is above 25%, wasting precious resources, water and power
  • Sewage water collecting network as leaks can contaminate drinking water collection process