Today’s market offers a range of choices in leak testing instruments.

Model ME2 is offered as a benchtop system or as a mobile unit with the cart mounted option. Source: ATC Inc.

Leak detection is an important field of nondestructive testing, with several testing methods used in many different applications. Testing instruments continue to progress, offering improved speed, accuracy, reliability and sensitivity.

When selecting a leak test method, consider cost, sensitivity and reliability of the test, as well as the design and specification requirements, accuracy requirements, type of leak to be inspected and the size of the system. Leak test providers also can help match the instrument to the application.

What follows is a list of leak testing instruments available today.

ATC Inc.( introduces a new generation of nondestructive leak detection using micro-flow technology. The Model ME2 can be used in the medical devices and pharmaceutical industries, in a laboratory or on the production floor. This leak tester also meets the requirements for container closure integrity. It is designed to deliver a shorter cycle time with flexible controls, and has Ethernet capabilities for remote viewing of system operation and data collection. The measurement sensitivity achieved with air on this tester offers an alternative to operators who rely on tracer gas leak testing for tight leak specifications. The Model ME2 is used in testing applications under vacuum from 1x10-5 standard cubic centimeters per second (sccs) at 2 psia (1 micron defect size) and hard vacuum from 7x10-7 sccs at 0.02 psia (0.1 micron defect size). It features an automatic vacuum test circuit designed for ultra tight leak specifications. The ME2 offers long term stability in variable ambient conditions with direct measurements that are repeatable and reproducible.

The M-1075-Y mass flow leak detector has a touch screen with simple, menu-driven operator controls. Source: InterTech Development Co.

Quality department managers with applications requiring high-speed leak testing of parts can now integrate leak testing into test-intensive assembly operations with the newInterTech( M-1075-Y mass flow leak detectors. These leak detectors have touch screens with simple, menu-driven operator controls; embedded Web pages allowing managers to monitor and access operations remotely, including interactive test parameter updates; and real-time display of all leak test stages and data storage in buffer for up to 1,000 test records. It also has Ethernet-connectivity, making integration into existing factory networks or enterprise solutions seamless, and USB ports to speed data backup. The leak detectors have password protected operator log-in, quick interchange of test sequences for multiple product testing, a WiFi option and are ad-hoc network capable.

The Sentinel Blackbelt is the company's latest addition to its Sentinel leak test instrument family. Source: Cincinnati Test Systems

The Sentinel Blackbelt isCincinnati Test Systems’ ( latest addition to its Sentinel leak test instrument family. The Blackbelt uses the same proprietary test algorithms processed on an advanced 32-bit system as the Sentinel I-24 multi-test type instrument, giving it the same fast and repeatable results in a benchtop package. The Sentinel Blackbelt works well for clean room applications in medical device and electronics assembly. It is designed to be operator friendly, featuring a large color display, and can handle a wide range of test types while offering data tracking capability.

The integrated package offers the dependability of a production system coupled with the data acquisition necessary for production and R&D. Source: Interlaken Technology Corp.

Interlaken Technology Corp.( offers pressure testing systems for impulse testing, leak testing, burst testing and autofrettage. Standard systems are available for pressures to 100,000 psi. The system can be configured with custom, quick-change fixtures for high-volume production or with more universal configurations for research and development work. The control module can communicate with other shop floor control systems via Ethernet, ProfiBus or CanBus.

These systems come with a network ready digital controller for closed-loop machine control and real-time data acquisition. Control solutions for many pressure applications are available, and the distributed architecture control system also can be custom configured with the graphical interface.

The Extrima meets all the requirements of the aviation, chemical, petrochemical and oil process industries for leak detection. Source: Alcatel Vacuum Products Inc.

The Adixen Extrima leak detector byAlcatel Vacuum Products Inc. ( is intended for leak detection with diluted hydrogen as a trace gas in explosive environments, where the safety requirements are extremely high. The detector is intrinsically safe, and cannot ignite the explosive gas.

Extrima has the European EEx ia IIC T4 classification equivalent to U.S. Class 1, Div 1, groups A, B, C, D, which means that it meets the requirements for use in zone 0 according to ATEX directive (ATmosphere EXplosible) of the European Commission. This detector can be applied in the chemical and petrochemical industry as well as in the aviation and oil processing industries. A typical application is leak detection during maintenance of aircraft fuel systems. Because there is always some fuel left in the system, the equipment must meet specific requirements.

Extrima quickly detects and locates the smallest possible fluid fuel leaks, thereby ensuring 100% integrity of the test object. It has an auto-ranging function, which automatically tunes the instrument’s sensitivity for precise leak location. After a leak is located and the search for additional leaks continues, the sensitivity automatically readjusts to the highest level. With a full seven-hour continuous operation from rechargeable batteries and an IP67 waterproof rating, the Extrima meets all the requirements of the aviation, chemical, petrochemical and oil process industries for leak detection.

The VS Series conforms to the most rigorous industrial standards. Source: Varian

Varian’s( PD03 dry portable leak detector provides customers with similar performance to the PR02 unit, but with several advantages. The dry pumping package in the PD03 uses Varian’s IDP-3 dry pump coupled with a diaphragm pump. This patented pump combination greatly enhances helium clean-up and helium background suppression.

The spectrometer and vacuum system design enables a range of test methods for specific applications. The high efficiency ion source and beam optics optimize sensitivity and mass separation, giving the VS Series high sensitivity to meet stringent leak test requirements. However, the units also have high test port pressure tolerance, which permits detection of large leaks.

The compact, lightweight design enables easy transport from one application to another. Multiple language and units capability permits easy implementation worldwide, and the VS Series conforms to CE, UL and CSA standards, assuring global acceptance.

The MS-60 Series leak detectors allow for greater access to system intelligence with a push of a button to accurately locate and measure leaks in objects. Source: VIC Leak Detection

Vacuum Instrument Corp. ( introduces a series of helium mass spectrometer leak detectors for testing the integrity of vacuum systems and parts using helium leak detection techniques. The MS-60 is available with a standard 7cfm or an optional 10.6cfm rotary vane foreline/roughing pump for faster cycle times. The MS-60 Series leak detectors allow operators to accurately locate and measure leaks in objects, such as power plant condensers, food packaging, automobile air bags and medical devices. These products are designed to meet the needs of industrial processing, parts manufacturing and general research applications. They offer portability and high performance specifications to find costly and inefficient leaks in equipment from compressors and refrigeration parts to nuclear reactors and power distribution plants.

The MS Series also simplifies daily operation, minimizes operator error and maximizes throughput and efficiency for semiconductor and small parts manufacturers that use the detectors to check hermetic packaging, automotive parts and refrigeration circuits. The series uses the company’s dual magnetic sector helium mass spectrometer for accurate and error-free operation.

The LS-1881 air leak tester addresses the requirements of today’s manufacturing industries. Source: Cosmo Solutions Technology

Cosmo Solutions Technology’s ( latest air leak tester is a multi-pneumatic unit system built upon the company’s sensor and air valve technologies. Able to drive up to eight pneumatic units from a single controller unit, the LS-1881 is appropriate for high-speed test applications requiring simultaneous multiple part testing, or for multi-cavity test parts requiring simultaneous leak tests.

The Windows-based LS-1881 air leak tester offers reduced cycle time and small leak detection capabilities; large full color touch panel LCD with quality charts, graphs and other quality tools; a small pneumatic unit footprint; 32 independent test programs for each pneumatic unit; and test data storage to compact flash memory card.