Leak Detection Industry Applications
Leak testing is too often considered as an afterthought resulting in costly situations and solutions, especially in production systems. Leak testing is a topic that should be discussed and considered at the design phase of production, leading to cost reductions and quality improvements.
There are a variety of applications valuing the use of leak detection systems, such as chemical plants, wastewater treatment, oil & gas, manufacturing and more. For example, the food and beverage industry implement leak detection systems due to risks of processes to maintain quality control and product preservation. Refrigerating and cooling systems also present a risk since they utilise pressurised ammonia, leading to serious side effects if leaked. Wastewater treatment centres must be wary of asphyxiants due to confined environments, leaving workers in spaces of high exposure if a leak were present.
Oil and gas applications involve several manufacturing processes requiring leak detection systems. Between offshore drilling or the production of gasoline, the exposure of the gases can compromise the safety of those in the refineries. Leak detection systems vary in this industry due to the various chains in oil and gas, making it essential to have the right system in place. Chemical plants, specifically chemical storage and chemical manufacturing are one of the largest users of leak detection systems due to the variety of gases and toxins within the plant.
Once the method of leak detection is selected, the types of instruments and manufacturers have to be chosen.
Each having its advantages and disadvantages, care needs to be taken to choose the right level of sensitivity, speed of response and the correct degree of immunity to external effects. Whatever method chosen, the product needs to be held steady during the test and ensure the connections between the component and the test instrument are made leak-tight in themselves, aka fixturing.
Fixturing requires a lot of care and expertise since most of the problems found with a leak detection system result from poor connections.
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