HYDROGEN AS TRACER GAS FOR LEAK TESTING

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.

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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…

The most cost effective solution when you desire to identify leaks in gr/year or ppm, equipped with all features for easy integration.

Main Features :

  • Digital pressure survey
  • Generated Suction Flow controlH520
  • Vacuum pre test (gross leak)
  • Detection of leaking gas traces
  • Range: 5~ 100 ppm
  • 32 programs
  • RS232: printer, computer link
  • 7 inputs / 5 outputs
  • Automatic measurement cycle

Measurement principle :

The part is filled with hydrogen gas 5% in Nitrogen gas

  • for localization, the leaking gas is attracted in a suction probe to the sensorH570
  • for fine leak detection, the leaking gas is first accumulated in a chamber, then attracted to the sensor through the suction tube

Traces of the leaking gas are detected by ATEQ sensor.

Applications :

Automotive: leak localization, cooling systems, alloy wheel, …
Domestic Appliances: compressor, …

 

 

Test cycle :

test-cycle


The H6000, is one of the finest gas tracer and hydrogen leak detectors on the market today. This gas is less expensive than Helium gas. Furthermore, it’s a volatile, non-toxic and non-poisonous gas with any environmental impact. The H6000 is equipped with all features for easy integration in industrial process and laboratory one.

Main Features :

  • Detection of leaking gas traces . Range: 1.10-4 mbar l/s to 2.10-2 mbar l/sH6000
  • Generated Suction Flow control
  • 128 programs
  • IP 54 protection
  • Internal memory: 2 Go
  • Visual (red/green leds) and audible
    signal for results
  • USB port
  • Battery
    12VDC 4400 mA/h
    Lithium Polymer technology
    Easy removable battery pack
    Autonomy 8 hours
  • Bag for H6000

Extraction_batterie_H6000_RougeB

Measurement principle :

The part is filled with hydrogen gas 5% in Nitrogen gas
For localization, the leaking gas is attracted in a suction probe to the sensor

Applications :

HVAC, Refrigeration and Automotive Leak Detection
Automotive: leak localization, cooling systems, alloy wheel, …
Domestic Appliances: compressor, …

The CDH6000 is a gas H2N2 (5% hydrogen) supply allowing the H6000 calibration checking. It must be used with one or several calibrated leaks.

CDH6000 warm-up:CDH6000

  • The CDH6000 must be fitted with a calibrated leak to deliver a known quantity of gas H2N2 (5% hydrogen) at a given pressure.
  • If the pressure displayed on the gauge of CDH6000 can not exceed 1 bar, change the cartridge (maximum pressure: 4 bars)
  • To purchase cartridges filled with gas H2N2 (5% hydrogen) contact ATEQ

table-cdh6000