Helium Leak Detection (HeLD)
ASTM F 2391 - Standard Test Method for Measuring Package and Seal Integrity Using Helium as the Tracer Gas
Helium mass spectrometry is most suited for non-porous packaging such as vials, syringes, and cartridges. However, even flexible packaging can be tested by helium mass spectrometry using appropriate test fixture and techniques.
Helium-filled or flushed samples are placed in a test chamber, where a vacuum is created by the instrument’s internal pumps. In certain circumstances, specialized fixtures may be created to isolate particular package areas of interest. Leaking samples allow helium to escape, enter the test system, and be detected by an analyzer cell. The stream of helium ions hitting the analyzer cell target is proportional to the partial pressure inside a sample. From this, a specific leak rate can be calculated and reported to the user.
Results can be reported quantitatively (as a leak rate), or qualitatively (Pass or Fail) if method development is performed. This type of testing may be of interest to clients looking to accurately assess the performance of an established package or analyze the effect of processing variables, such as capping force, closure materials, etc., on the performance of a package system.
Whitehouse Laboratories operates a “Container Testing Center of Excellence”. The entire business unit brings multiple levels of experience to each container testing program. Staff members with specific areas of expertise are always available to consult on your testing needs.