Tracer Gas Leak Detection with Helium Gas

There are different methods have been used by the leak detection companies to detect the leakage. In tracer gas leak detection method various gases are used like ammonia or halogen gases. But in recent years, most of the companies like to use helium gas to detect leakage. Helium gas has that superior sensitivity to detect the problem quickly. Helium leak detector is also known as Mass Spectrometer Leak Detectors.


What are the main characteristics of Helium gas?

  • Helium is one of the noble gases, as a result, it does not react or combine with other components which are under test.
  • Helium gas is presented in a very small amount in the atmosphere, as a result, the leak detector can hear hissing sound very clearly without any noise.
  • It is not harmful to the environment as it is non-toxic, colorless, odorless and tasteless. It does not create any problematic situation at any cost.
  • This gas has the smallest molecule and it is also very light in nature. As a result of which it can pass quickly from small leaks when inserted into leaking pipes.
  • Helium gas is less expensive than any other gases and easily available in cylinders.
  • Helium gas is non-flammable in nature. So, it is not so harmful to use.


How helium gas can detect the leakage?

The mass spectrometer is used to detect a leak with helium gas. It can easily detect the leakage by transforming the mass of gas into an electrical signal. This spectrometer inserts ionized air into the circle-shaped tube immersed in a magnetic field. In this situation, other ions are destroyed except helium ions. Helium ions can produce electric current by which it is measured to quantify leak efficiently.


What are the methods of helium gas detection?

There are mainly three methods to detect the leak with the help of helium gas:

  • Sniffer test: Helium is seven times lighter than atmospheric air as a result if there are leaks it starts escaping immediately. Actually in this test apart is pressurized with the gas and it detects leaks within minimal time. This test is useful for those parts which cannot put inside a vacuum chamber to detect the leakage.
  • Vacuum test: In this test, the suspicious part needs to put into the chamber where the vacuum is created. Helium pressure is created by using a pump and the leak is measured immediately through a mass spectrometer. This test can detect leaks in automatic systems like condensers, pipes, tubes, hoses, airbags, evaporators, thermostatic valves, fuel tanks.
  • Bombing test: By using this method, a leak from sealed parts of bulbs and implantable devices can be detected easily. The elements are placed in a high pressurized bombing chamber. If there is a leak hilum will enter into the device. Then it is placed in a vacuum chamber and the gas is released. The only problem is that this particular test cannot detect small leaks.

These are a few information about leak detection with helium gas. In recent years this method is becoming popular for its usefulness.

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