Leaks can develop in all kinds of pipelines and other industrial systems. In order for these systems to function properly, leaks need to be identified and fixed. However, leaks may be hard to detect. This is where leak testing comes in. A professional nondestructive testing technician can use leak testing to identify leaks before they become big problems.
Leak testing seems basic in theory. In fact, leak testing in a basic sense can be traced back as early as 300-400 BC, when it was originally used to determine the ability of a container to hold water. However, techniques have advanced since then. Modern leak detection techniques were greatly advanced during World War II and the Manhattan Project. The last few decades of technological advancement have necessitated and improved the simplicity and sensitivity of leak testing equipment. Improved electronics, higher quality pumps, and more automated systems make leak detection a very reliable and repeatable process.
There are many different methods for testing for leaks. Tests can be as simple as submerging a pressurized component and looking for bubbles. Another leak testing method involves placing the part in a vacuum-sealed chamber and filling the part with helium or another gas. The chamber is monitored for the presence of the gas, which indicates a leak. Leak testing can even be performed in certain situations by detecting the sound of the leak, as escaping gas makes a noise.
Depending on the technique, results from leak testing can be qualitative or quantitative. Some tests only identify the presence of a leak, while others can pinpoint the exact location of the leak. A leak testing technician will be able to determine the best method of leak testing for your needs.
Systems that are prone to leaks need to be tested regularly in order to make sure that they function correctly. If you are looking for certified technicians to perform leak testing at your facility, RRL NDT can help.