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Common Air Leak Testing Methods

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Figuring out which leak testing system is best for your manufacturing or assembly operation can be a challenge. Air leak testing for electronicsmedical devicesautomotive components, and more all have their own unique set of standards, regulations, and guidelines that must be met. Before investing in new non-destructive testing equipment for air leak detection, be sure that you are selecting the best standard type of air leak testing method for your industry, facility, and production.

Pressure & Vacuum Decay Leak Testing Methods

Pressure decay leak testing is commonly applied in manufacturing operations involving sealed components with an access port, such as catheters, implantable devices, and sensors or indicators. After the leak tester fills the component with pressurized air, the valve is closed to allow the pressure to reach equilibrium. If the air pressure decreases, then a leak is present and your component is rejected.

Vacuum decay air leak testing is the opposite of pressure decay. Instead of filling a component with air, the air is completely evacuated. If the pressure rises during testing, then a leak is present in your part. This type of leak testing method is commonly applied to locate leaks caused by external sources. It is also an ideal solution for automotive fuel injectors, medical catheters, and more.

Mass Flow Air Leak Detection

As the name implies, mass flow air leak detection equipment measures the amount of air that flows through a component or part. Mass flow testing can be used to test both small and large volume parts. For small parts, the extremely small internal volume allows for very low test times, generating a high throughput of production. In large parts, the flow rate can be adjusted to maximize the speed of the test. Standard applications for mass flow air leak testers include:

  • Catheters
  • IV sets
  • Check valves
  • Tubing
  • Metering devices
  • And more!

Occlusion Methods

If blockages are a concern for your manufacturing production, then occlusion testing is one of your best options. Your product is filled with regulated air. All valves close after your preset pressure is reached. The downstream port is opened so you can measure the pressure loss. A lack of decay denotes an issue, and further steps must be taken. Occlusion non-destructive methods are standard when testing catheters, check valves, tubing, and similar parts.

Burst Pressure Leak Test

Burst pressure tests measure the maximum pressure your component can withstand before catastrophically failing, or, as denoted by the name, “bursting.” Your part is attached to the test port and pressurized. After pressure sensors measure the pressure ramp rate and burst event, you compare your test results to your pre-established parameters. Design engineers favor burst pressure leak tests as they help establish the best material for a part, component geometry, and more.

Note: Burst pressure tests are a type of destructive testing. However, for check valves and similar components, it can be run as a non-destructive test.

Pressure Cracking Air Leak Detection

Often compared to burst pressure tests, pressure cracking air leak tests detect leaks such as a valve opening. Using two ports, you set specifications for minimum and maximum pressures required to open your device. Crack tests then measure the success or failure of your part by measuring increases and decreases in pressure. They are often applied to industrial components with a small amount of weep (or leak) before the full opening, including check valves and needleless injection sites.

Chamber Air Leak Test

Applied to find air leaks in sealed packing or devices without an opening, chamber air leak tests are implemented by placing your product inside a sealed chamber. That chamber is pressurized. Any pressure drop signifies that your product has an air leak. Chamber air leak tests are non-destructive and used throughout a variety of industries, including for testing:

  • Medical implantable devices
  • Electronic enclosures
  • Sensors and indicators
  • Radios, cell phones, watches, and other consumer goods
  • And many other components!

The Best USA-Made Air Leak Detection Equipment

Deciding which standard type of leak detection system is best for your production can be difficult, but Zaxis, Inc. is here to help. Since we first opened our doors, we have been dedicated to providing the best non-destructive air leak detection equipment for industrial manufacturers. Our air leak testing systems for electronics, medical devices, and other sectors are second to none, and we work hard to find the best solution for your unique production needs.

Ready to learn more about Zaxis and how we can support your manufacturing application through the market’s finest air leak testing for electronics and other devices? Contact us or call 801-264-1000 today. Our experts will be in touch as soon as possible.

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