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Pressure decay leak testing

Pressure decay leak testing – the occlusion connection

Occlusion – the act of closing, blocking, or shutting something, or in this case the state of being closed or blocked.

But how does this definition fit in the context of a leak testing environment? Well, you need to investigate your products to make sure that an occlusion isn’t causing a partial blockage of a flow path.

Think about the medical industry for a moment and a common device, relied upon all over the world: the catheter. A catheter is a thin medical tube frequently used to transport fluids into or out of your body. Make sure it does its important job with a catheter leak tester.

A catheter that goes into your bladder can get rid of urine for you. And if you need blood, medicine or chemotherapy drugs your doctor will probably use an intravenous catheter, connected to your veins with a needle.

When a catheter is inserted it’s vital for the patient that any fluids flow freely – any partial blockage of a flow path – a crimp in the tube being one example – can lead to medicines not being administered properly, or infections from fluid build up. You need reliable leak test results from a catheter leak tester to avoid these potentially life threatening problems.

So how does occlusion testing help with a healthy leak test and inspection process? Well, there’s actually three approaches that we’ll delve into now: mass flow rate leak testing; the back pressure occlusion leak test; and pressure drop occlusion leak testing.

Mass flow leak testing

You can use the mass flow leak testing method to identify occlusions as well as leaks. When identifying flow-hampering occlusions in an open-ended device – like a medical catheter or refrigeration tubing – you’ll need a continual supply of flow pressure to measure any blockage.

Your leak test part – in this instance the catheter – is pressurized, until it reaches a point of equilibrium. Your sensor then tells you that the pressure in the part is stabilized and you’ll know that the gas flowing in from the supply is equal to the total leakage of gas flowing out. The flow sensor gives you the flow rate. And if it’s too low, that means there’s an obstruction and your part will fail the leak test. A minor inconvenience when you keep the patient in mind!

Back pressure occlusion leak testing

This leak test works in a similar vein to mass flow testing…slightly confusing and mildly inappropriate pun intended! But, this time you work out if the flow path is obstructed with an occlusion by measuring the amount of input pressure needed to force flow through the product.

When you’re back pressure occlusion leak testing, a blockage creates a higher pressure at the device. Your pressure decay leak tester has been pre-set to recall the input pressure needed to create the expected flow rate…a higher pressure indicates a blockage.

Pressure drop occlusion leak testing

Imagine an IV catheter for a moment. When it’s working properly, it will release its pressure and contents over a given period of time. But if a manufacturing defect has created a flap or obstruction this will prevent air from venting as it should. The pressure drop occlusion leak test works like this – you pressurize the part and then measure the change when the input pressure is removed. If your catheter is working properly then the pressure drops to zero – or an otherwise accepted figure – in a fixed time. If it doesn’t, then the limit recognized by the instrument isn’t met. Which means the occlusion testing has shown you’ve got a blockage and a failed part.

Leak testing solutions for occlusion conclusions – choose Industrial Physics

If you’re under pressure to source the best in leak test and occlusion inspection equipment for any type of industry or purpose, then you’re in the right place.

Across the Industrial Physics family of brands we design, make and sell the best leak test occlusion testing equipment on the market. Whether you need a catheter leak tester or help with mass flow leak testing, the back pressure occlusion leak test, or pressure drop occlusion testing. We’ll alleviate any pressurized situation you’re facing!

Introducing the TME Integra Flex leak tester

Check out the TME Integra Flex, we’re rather proud of this clever pressure decay leak tester. It was designed and manufactured for the OEM, industrial integration and automated leak detection systems markets.

It’s a new line of leak test instruments available as a rackmount industrial model or as a benchtop. It can be configured to perform a pressure or vacuum decay leak test and occlusion testing on a wide array of products, devices and components. You can find out more and take a good look at it in action here.

Check out the WORKER Integra™ leak tester

Or perhaps the WORKER Integra™ leak tester is a better fit for your organization? It’s an integrated process control tool, with repeatable and quantitative results.

This is the leak test machine you need for everyday leak, flow and occlusion testing requirements. It’s an affordable, one-to-four channel, bench-top, high resolution leak test instrument with a small footprint and user friendly ease of operation.

Get in contact today to discuss either of these great leak testers. Or have a good look through the other options we offer in the tried and tested Industrial Physics range.

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