Atmospheric 'Sniff Leak Testing' is a basic method of tracer gas leak detection that uses a sniffer probe to detect the presence of tracer gas and pinpoint an area that is leaking. During the sniff test process, a part or component is evacuated, and then filled with a tracer gas such as hydrogen. A probe is then manually moved over the surface of the part to detect leakage. Sniff leak locating is highly effective at sensing and locating micro leaks and is best suited for checking lower volumes of parts.
Highlights of Sniff Leak Testing:
- Low cost tracer gas testing method that pin points the location of the leak
- Can detect leaks in the range of 1.6 x 10-1 to 1x10-5 scc/s
- Works best in an environment that is well ventilated, free of trace-gas
- Effectiveness is limited in environments where background noise (air flow) reduces the concentration of the gas tracer
- Since sniff leak detectors are typically operated manually, the reliability of the sniff test is dependent upon the experience of the operator.
Sniffer Leak Detector Technology for Fast and Reliable TestingAtmospheric sniff systems are widely used in HVAC, aerospace and other industries to quickly and effectively locate leaks during part assembly. Our sniff system includes a CTS TracerMate hydrogen gas leak location system, a hand-held probe and an Inficon mass spectrometer.
To conduct a sniffer test, a part is filled with tracer gas and the hand-held probe is then moved close to the area being checked for leakage. The sniffer probe draws in the air sample from around the part test area and into the mass spectrometer, where it is analyzed for tracer gas concentration. When the mass spectrometer detects a tracer gas concentration that exceeds the leak rate setpoint previously set in the TracerMate, it signals the TracerMate and the part fails the leak test.
The TracerMate atmospheric sniff system can be programmed to perform up to 20 sequential tests, each one started separately, and saved as a multi-point leak test as one test record. It operates using a hydrogen/nitrogen gas mix and features a simple “plug and play” interface connection for easy setup.