ATEQ

- Model H520/H570 - Tracer Gas Leak Tester

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Helium is the most commonly used tracer gas for leak detection. However, it has a number of limitations in many industrial applications. But hydrogen diffuses rapidly inside test parts, and dissipates more quickly than helium. These properties, and the low price of hydrogen, make it a very attractive alternative.

The tracer gas method can be used for both leak location and small leak detection. ATEQ offers one solution for each case.

  • Leak location – H6000
  • Small leak detection – H520 / H570

With tracer gas method, test parts remain dry, and measurement are unaffected by temperature changes and elasticity.
The actual gas mix is a safe combination of 5% Hydrogen and 95% Nitrogen. Hydrogen is the lightest and least hazardous of all gases, it spreads rapidly throughout the test part and seeps quickly through the smallest leak. Background interference is also minimised due to the speed with which hydrogen dissipates.

Main advantage of using hydrogen instead of Helium:

  • non-flammabe gas – no safety risks
  • renewable resource – environmentally friendly
  • non-toxic
  • non-corrosive
  • very low viscosity
  • less expensive to buy
  • less expensive to maintain

2 Test methods

Sniffing Methods – H6000

Manual sniffing is the most common method where hydrogen has been recently implemented as a tracer gas.  ATEQ’s leak detector claims a leak rate sensitivity of 1 x 10-4 mbar l/s to 2.10-2 mbar l/s.

Chamber Methods – H520 / H570

The chamber accumulation method is one way to perform more automated and global testing with hydrogen.  In this method a sniffer probe is used to monitor rising concentrations of the leaking tracer gas that is collected in a surrounding chamber.  Proper integration of the hydrogen sensor or sniffer is critical to the success of this method.  Nevertheless, the accumulation method suffers from lack of sensitivity, particularly for larger test parts and when fast cycle times are required.  Typical sensitivities are usually no better than 5 X 10-6 mbar l/s.

Effective and safe, hydrogen leak detection is increasingly used by companies involved in industries such as automotive, aeronautics, refrigeration and air conditioning, medical, water and telecommunications…

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