Aero-Flex Corp. provides helium testing for tubes and hoses. There are many reasons why we prefer to use helium to test for leaks in hoses. The gas is inert, non-flammable and non-toxic; therefore, it is ideal for measuring the size of holes in a vessel.

What are the components of a helium leak detector?

Helium leak detector consists of various components including a spectrometer, mechanical pump, vacuum system, power supply, valves, and fixturing. At Aero-Flex Corp., we use two main helium leak-testing methods: vacuum testing and pressure testing. The method we choose is determined by the conditions of the hoses to be tested. For example, we usually test vacuum systems inside a chamber.

Outside-in testing or vacuum testing involves administering helium in the suspected leak locations using a spray probe. On the other hand, pressure testing or inside-out testing involves administering helium in a hose or tubing to pressurize it and then scanning the suspected leak areas with a sniffer probe.

Applications of helium leak detection

Helium leak detection plays a central role in ensuring that your parts and assemblies are leak-free, which assures the production process’ reliability. This method is ideal for checking for leaks in hydraulic lines, radiators, fuel lines, condensers, storage tanks, and vacuum systems among others.

Why is helium used for detecting leaks?

Helium is inert and has small gas molecules. The fact that the gas is inactive means that it is will not react with other chemical agents present in your hose or systems. In addition, helium leak testing is extremely sensitive and can be used to detect even the smallest leaks that may otherwise be impossible to detect using other types of tests.

Helium can detect two main types of leaks: residual leaks and virtual leaks. The former is caused by seal imperfections, punctures, and holes in the system. On the other hand, virtual leaks are caused by trapped gases that adhere to the interior of a system and produce signs that mimic the presence of a leak.

DOT specifications for hose testing

Flex hoses are supposed to meet quality standards set by the DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). According to the specifications, Flexible stainless steel hoses and cylinders must be tested by a DOT-approved testing facility every three, five and ten years. In addition, the systems must undergo requalification testing depending on their age, the gas they contain, rating, and material construction.

Helium and hydrostatic testing are some of the most effective ways to test chemical cylinders, plumbing, pipelines and other pressure vessels for potential leaks. They help to prevent disasters such as the rupture of outdated containers that may result in costly penalties and even prison sentences for guilty parties.

Aero-Flex Corp. offers certified helium and hydrostatic testing services. We have state-of-the-art testing equipment and the experience to ensure that your industrial or chemical facility remains compliant with DOT specifications. Call us today for a free estimate on Flexible stainless steel hose.

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