Automated Leak Testing: Pressure Decay

Cyan Tec have vast experience in the design and manufacture of testing equipment, supplying both electronic and air testing machinery to a range of different industries. This technical article focusses on the basic principles of pressure decay testing, an industry known testing method that is used to detect leaks in components or assemblies, through a test station or on a production line.

Automated pressure decay leak testing is a popular method of testing the integrity of a sealed component. This process is often used in the manufacturing industry, where it is crucial to ensure that components are free of leaks before they are shipped to customers. In this article, we will discuss the process of automated pressure decay leak testing.

The first step in automated pressure decay leak testing is to prepare the component for testing. The component is connected to a test fixture and sealed off from the environment. The test fixture is then connected to a pressure source, which is used to pressurise the component.

Once the component is pressurised, the pressure is monitored to determine if there is any leakage. The pressure is monitored using a pressure transducer, which measures the pressure inside the component. The pressure transducer is connected to a data acquisition system, which records the pressure readings over time.

The pressure inside the component is then allowed to decay over a predetermined time period. The rate of decay is monitored using the pressure transducer and recorded by the data acquisition system. If the pressure inside the component decays too quickly, it is an indication that there is a leak.

Automated pressure decay leak testing is often performed using a programmable logic controller (PLC). The PLC is programmed to control the pressure source, pressure transducer, and data acquisition system. The PLC can be programmed to perform a variety of tests, including pressure decay, vacuum decay, and differential pressure testing.

One of the advantages of automated pressure decay leak testing is its speed and accuracy. The process can be completed quickly, allowing for high production rates. The accuracy of the process is also high, with pressure transducers able to detect leaks as small as 0.1 psi.

Another advantage of automated pressure decay leak testing is its repeatability. The process can be repeated m

ultiple times on the same component, ensuring that the results are consistent. This is important in the manufacturing industry, where consistency is crucial to ensuring the quality of the final product.
In conclusion, automated pressure decay leak testing is a highly effective method of testing the integrity of a sealed component. The process is fast, accurate, and repeatable, making it an ideal choice for the manufacturing industry. Additionally, the use of a PLC allows for a variety of tests to be performed, ensuring that components are free of leaks before they are shipped to customers.

Inside an application…..

When a high-profile automotive supplier needed a suite of customised leak testing systems for their latest engine components, they had no hesitation in contacting Cyan Tec Systems who had previously provided several automation machines for their UK factory. In order to fulfil the customers’ requirements, Cyan Tec provided a total of six individual leak testing machines, each designed to suit specific engine components.

To verify the quality of high-performance engines, it is necessary to perform accurate leak testing of components and assemblies, the most commonly used method being “pressure decay” which has been used for several decades to identify faults in sealing or component integrity. In this case, it was the high-level testing of the casting integrity that was required.

Cyan Tec has established a track record in automated leak testing, using third party leak testing equipment integrated into the production lines of many clients.  In particular, Cyan Tec has a strong relationship with Ateq, a well-known manufacturer of differential pressure decay leak testing equipment.

After assessing the requirements of the customer, Cyan Tec provided the six machines based around a modular design. Each machine is customised to suit one or more products, the machine construction providing a combination of guarding and safety light curtains to ensure that the operator is well-protected during the testing sequence.

Cyan Tec are an experienced manufacturer of laser processing systems, robotic automation and automated leak testing systems based in The Midlands, United Kingdom. Standard and custom systems are offered with a full service from design through manufacture, supported by a dedicated team of engineers. For more information, please contact our sales team on or 01509 815186.