Sep 2022

Helium Mass Spectrometry for Leak Testing Foil Pouches

Helium Mass Spectrometry for Leak Testing Foil Pouches

Foil pouches are a simple solution for sterile barrier packaging. These are ideal for medical equipment and pharmaceuticals as well. Aluminum foil, which is impermeable to moisture, oxygen, and other gases, as well as microorganisms and light, helps to preserve pharmaceuticals in perfect condition for a longer period of time. These materials are used to create films that are free of contaminants and toxins. As a result, one advantage of foil pouches is that they may be used to package both food and non-food products. Another benefit of utilizing foil pouches is their low cost. Foil pouches are less expensive than many packaging materials.

Leak testing foil pouches is a challenging process. Leaking pouches may destroy the quality of the product by destroying the outside package. More significantly, leaking pouches provide a point of entry for contamination into the product, which can result in product degradation and potential health risks for patients. This creates the necessity of testing foil pouches and helps assure package quality.

How Helium Mass Spectrometer Detect Leaks in Foil Pouches?

Helium leak testing is a CCI testing method for leak testing foil pouches. It is the process of finding leaks in an enclosed system using helium as the tracer gas. Helium leak testing is one of the most accurate and rapid leak detection methods which employ a mass spectrometer for analyzing/measuring leaks. For a variety of reasons, helium gas is used to locate leaks. These include the fact that it is present only 5 ppm in air, resulting in very low background levels. Helium has a low mass and is completely inert/non-reactive. Helium is also non-flammable, abundantly available, and inexpensive.

Helium mass spectrometer is a device that helps in detecting and locating leaks. The device being tested is either pressurized from the inside or pressurized with helium from the outside. The gas from any possible leaks is collected and pumped into the mass spectrometer for analysis, and any value over the helium background trace indicates a leak. The mass spectrometer works as follows-any helium molecules vacuumed into the spectrometer are ionized, and these helium ions then fly into the ion trap, where the ion current is measured and recorded. The leak rate is then calculated using the ionization current.

Benefits of Helium Leak Testing

  • Identification and measurement of leaks with high sensitivity.
  • The majority of the testing is done in a dry, temperature-independent environment.
  • Reduced cost and processing time with shorter cycle time.
  • Due to the inert properties of helium, no effect on the substances under test.

Helium mass spectrometry is ideally suited for determining the intrinsic integrity of a packaging system. Helium mass spectrometer leak detection system for foil pouches offered by LDA (a PTI company) can be used to identify both large and small leaks. These are often employed in a vacuum chamber containing a sealed container filled with helium. Because of its non-toxic nature, helium is one of the important gases that may be used to identify leaks.

helium mass spectrometry, helium leak testing, helium leak detection, leak detection by mass spec, helium leak detector
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