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INFICON Shows New Cost Efficient Leak Testing Method to Reliably Find Fluid Leaks

LDS3000 AQ is the first leak detector to use forming gas in a simple accumulation chamber

Cologne, Germany — May 9, 2017 — INFICON, one of the leading manufacturers of leak testing equipment, introduces the LDS3000 AQ modular leak detector for use with a simple accumulation chamber at this year’s Control in Stuttgart, Germany . The new leak detector uses cost efficient forming gas for accumulation leak testing. The LDS3000 AQ is very sensitive and can detect leaks down to the 10-5 mbar∙l/s range. It will detect fluid leaks as reliably as helium vacuum leak testing, but with cost nearly at the cost of air testing.

Testing as reliable as with helium – at nearly the cost of air testing  With the LDS3000 AQ, INFICON bridges the gap between air testing (also called pressure decay testing) and helium vacuum testing. Compared to air testing, the INFICON accumulation method cannot only detect smaller leak rates, but also offers another important benefit: unlike air testing the testing results are not impacted by temperature or humidity influence. The LDS3000 AQ constantly yields extremely reliable test results with high repeatability.

Fieldbus interfaces for Industry 4.0 integration

The LDS3000 AQ is the second leak detector from INFICON to be used in simple accumulation testing. While the INFICON T-Guard® Leak Detection Sensor relies on helium as test gas, the new LDS3000 AQ can be used with low cost forming gas or helium. Forming gas is a commonly used gas mixture mostly containing nitrogen (95%) – with 5% hydrogen as the actual tracer gas. The LDS3000 AQ detects leaks down to the 10-5 mbar∙l/s range with both gas options. INFICON has equipped both leak detectors, the LDS3000 AQ and T-Guard, with a variety of modern fieldbus interfaces to meet a wide range of applications. Thus, INFICON leak detectors can be linked to industrial networks for full data interchange, making them industry 4.0 ready.

The INFICON accumulation method

The low cost accumulation method developed by INFICON uses a simple accumulation chamber that fulfills a much lower leak rate requirement than a conventional vacuum chamber. Also, no large and costly pumps to generate the vacuum in the chamber are needed. The part to be tested is filled with tracer gas, either forming gas or helium, and is placed in the accumulation chamber. Tracer gas escaping from potential leaks is accumulated in the chamber and is distributed evenly by fans. The leak rate is determined by the amount of tracer gas accumulated in the chamber over a given time interval. The low cost, reliable accumulation method is well suited to find fluids leaks, for example oil or water leaks, even in larger components.