SYRACUSE, N.Y. – INFICON has published an e-book in response to requests for help in replacing antiquated leak-test processes. For example, more than 80 percent of all automotive leak testing relies on outdated pressure-decay or water-bath leak-detection methods.
Auto manufacturers and suppliers create and integrate some of the most sophisticated products in the world, yet rely on test methods that simply cannot detect the extremely small leaks that result in high warranty costs, customer dissatisfaction, lost revenue, recalls and court actions
Millions of leak-detection tests are performed annually on everything from fuel tanks to air-conditioning hoses and fuel-delivery systems to safety-related items such as airbag inflators, air bags, ADAS sensors and powertrain batteries. All must be tested before new-model cars and trucks reach the dealer showrooms.
New-vehicle leak-test locations are illustrated above.
In the e-book, we present specific applications for different leak-testing methods used in the auto industry, including which components of a vehicle are typically tested and the test method that is used. The e-book even outlines the leak rates that guide each test method and include a detailed section on the “Top 10 Common Errors In Leak Testing” in the industry. The e-book is designed to provide manufacturing engineers and managers with information that will help them make decisions about the best leak-detection methods for their particular applications.
Our guide to leak detection explains basic test methods and outlines the strengths and weaknesses of each: from water-bath and pressure-decay, to helium testing in accumulation and vacuum chambers. The book also covers the most common tracer gases – helium, hydrogen / forming gas and operating fluids like the refrigerants HFO-1234yf and CO2.
Lately there has been an increased interest in testing battery cells and packs for electrified vehicles. EV batteries are a critical part of the vehicle and are potentially dangerous. Automakers assure buyers that they are providing reliable, high-quality technology. A crucial step in achieving this quality level is to conduct thorough leak tests throughout the entire battery production process – from battery-cell manufacture, to battery-pack and vehicle assembly.
Automakers and suppliers must, for example, use precise leak-testing methods in their production processes to prevent electrolyte in battery cells from escaping or coming into contact with water and humidity. Doing so can create “thermal runaway,” causing an explosion or fires that can reach 1,100 degrees Centigrade.
In our new age of electromobility, consumers will resist investing significantly in replacement traction battery packs after a few short years just to get back to their vehicle’s usable range. They absolutely will not accept a quality issue to cause their luxury vehicles to catch fire.
To learn more, click on www.INFICON.com.
About the Author
Thomas Parker is responsible for INFICON’s automotive sales in North America, supporting the company’s growing focus and investment in the automotive market. Parker previously had been the company’s leak-detection segment manager for the eastern United States. He joined INFICON in 2006 as a key account manager in Atlanta. Prior to that, he served as a technical sales representative at W.L. Schoonover Inc. in Canton, Georgia.