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Importance of Leak Test Seals

Leaks are no one’s best friend. Despite cleaning a leaky mess, or the hassle of repairs, leaks can pose significant harm if not properly tested during assembly. In this post, we will discuss the importance of leak test seals, how leak tests are performed, and how to properly incorporate polyurethane seals in your leak test design to ensure system performance and user safety.

leak test

What is a Leak Test?

Leak tests are used for quality control purposes to determine that the seal integrity of a product meets specific regulatory and performance requirements. This technique is commonly employed in objects, such as batteries, motors, pumps, medical bags, etc., that are susceptible to gas or liquid leaks. In addition, leak test seals ensure consumer safety and minimize recalls or product loss.

How are Leak Tests Performed?

Leak tests can be performed on any product or component that requires airtight assembly. Because of this, there are several techniques designed to meet almost every design requirement. For starters, a bubble leak test is one of the most basic methods employed to test for leaks. This method involves submerging an object underwater and watching for bubbles. If bubbles begin to emerge, you can conclude a leak is present. While this method may be effective for some applications, bubble leak tests may pose significant challenges in identifying leaks at small to microscopic levels. For more accurate results, specialized equipment like vacuum leak detectors is often performed at various stages of production. This controlled process involves pulling a vacuum on a test chamber with the test part sealed inside. The pressure from the vacuum will change over time to determine if any leaks are detected. If the specified leakage rate is acceptable, the difference between the beginning and final leakage rates will promptly measure if the part passed or failed inspection.

What is the Importance of Leak Test Seals? 

pexels-anna-shvets-3845115_Leaks occur from everything from automotive engines, and medical devices, to packaging. As a result, leak test seals are essential for applications that require gas or liquids to be separated from other elements within the same operating system. In addition, leak test seals provide OEMs and consumers with a sense of adequate performance and reliability when in operation. This is especially deemed critical for applications like automotive & transportation or medical & pharma. For instance, take the heart of an electric vehicle. If a leak penetrates through a battery, the liquid mixed with lithium can cause a considerable amount of damage to both the product and the end-user. In the case of medical devices, patients often rely on pumps for medical treatments. If a leak is present within this product, the wrong fluids could mix or enter a patient’s body – increasing the risk of fatal harm. These risks alone are enough for manufacturers to frequently perform leak tests throughout assembly to maintain product quality and ensure user safety.

How to use Polyurethane Seals in Your Leak Test Design?

When considering a leak test seal in your design, it is important to understand your product’s function and performance requirements to achieve the best results. For instance, there are many standard leak test seals accessible in various shapes and sizes. While this option may be best at meeting basic regulatory requirements, there is no guarantee that consistency can be achieved for complex objects. To ensure proper function, it is recommended to customize a leak test seal to fit your application’s exact design and material requirements. Take molding with thermoset polyurethanes as an example. This adaptable process enables product designers to design what they envision without compromise. Due to the urethane’s unique chemistry, thermoset polyurethanes can be tailored into any shape, size, or hardness unlike its cousin, thermoplastics. In addition, this material offers superior chemical resistance and endurance to almost any environment or temperature. To explore some of the benefits thermoset polyurethanes can offer your product design, feel free to download our material datasheet here.

If you find custom leak test seals are a key requirement in your product design, this can easily be tailored by your thermoset polyurethane manufacturer. For material assistance, complete our design tool here, or click the button below to start your custom polyurethane seal today.

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