Helium Leak Detection Explained


What is leak detection?

A leak can compromise the integrity of the material being processed so a leak tight system is paramount for consistent, accurate treatment of any material. As well as avoiding contamination, leak detection is also carried out to prevent material loss, assure performance and reliability and reduce liability. Helium is used to detect small leaks or sometimes bigger leaks in larger volumes. Helium is used as a tracer gas by measuring its concentration.

Why use Helium?

Helium is the smallest atom (after hydrogen) capable to move at extremely high speed. It is present in the atmosphere in low quantities so as not to affect testing andis inert, so safe to use for testing as the residuals will not react with any gas or liquid. Helium costs are relatively low and is naturally occurring in the atmosphere and can be safely discharged.

How does it work?

The gas is exposed to one side of the product and the other side is evacuated through the mass spectrometer (detector).  If any of the Helium passes through a leak, the spectrometer sensor will detect the presence of Helium atoms. The sensor responds with a signal in proportion to the amount of Helium, and an alarm is triggered.

The advantages of helium leak detection include:

  • Covers the widest range of leak specs
  • Fast and efficient detection of faulty product
  • Not dependent on operator judgment
  • Helium is readily available
  • Mass spectrometer system has sensitivity up to 1 x 10-12 cc/sec
  • Auto-calibration with reference leaks traceable to international standards
  • Method is reliable and consistent
  • Non destructive
  • In-line or off-line operation
  • Compliance with quality, safety and environmental requirements
  • Minimizes testing times and operating costs
  • Helium can be recovered at 98%

Dynapumps offer a range of leak detection equipment from portable and bench mounted unit, through to mobile and dedicated component devices. Our units can be supplied for traditional Helium leak detection through to refrigerant, or multi gas models.

Our range of leak detection technology offers comprehensive solutions to end users through industry leading global support and high performance instruments. With a range extending from the portable PHD-4 through to the class leading VS series. We can provide a customised solution for high precision applications such as high energy physics, R & D, manufacturing and semiconductors, through to industrial applications including the power generation industry where dependable, portable and robust design is essential.

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