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Leak Test Equipment With Smoke?

leak test

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#1 AndyChemEng


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Posted 07 September 2018 - 05:50 PM



I normally carry out vacuum and/or pressure tests with nitrogen to leak test equipment on our site. If it fails we go round every flange/joint with oxygen monitors to track down the leaks. This can be time consuming and not always 100% effective as some joints can be awkward to access.


Has anyone ever came across a more effective means of leak testing. I was thinking maybe a smoke test that would be suitable (i.e. no residue/contaminates) on chemical processing equipment that could provide a more visual and effective means of finding even the smallest of leaks. We also have a large belt filter which, because of its tight pressure rating, we can't carry out a particularly robust high pressure (15mbarg) or vacuum test (-3mbarg) and so would benefit from a smoke test approach i think. 


Any experience or tips is much appreciated. 

#2 breizh


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Posted 08 September 2018 - 02:35 AM

Hi ,

For pressure leak test , I've been using a mixture ( water + soap) ,

For vacuum more difficult , I've seen operators covering flanges with  "scotch " tape to confirm vacuum leak !



#3 thorium90


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Posted 13 September 2018 - 07:28 AM

Tape up the flanges, poke a small hole in the tape.

For vacuum, place smoke in the area of the hole.

For pressurized, place soapy water in the area of the whole.


If higher temperature media, there can be thermal ways of doing it. Like thermal leak detector.

If high enough pressure or if its internal, such as bubbling internally, acoustic methods like ultrasound microphones.


If it is still difficult, then tracer gas method with its sensitive gas detector.

Edited by thorium90, 13 September 2018 - 07:32 AM.

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