Helium method (snifting test)

Test medium: Helium

Detectable leakage rates: >0.00001 cc/min

Testing method:
Test specimen is pressurized. Test gas flowing out through leakages is drawn in by a usually manually operated snifting probe and fed to a mass spectrometer.








Example: Helium method (snifting test)


  • extremely low leakage rates detectable
  • leakage localization possible
  • no influence on the measurement result through thermal effects
  • oldest and best-known gas detection method


  • expensive and sensitive sensor equipment
  • high vacuum components required
  • sensitive to moisture and pollution
  • disturbances through natural occurrence of helium in the atmosphere
  • often unsuitable for testing plastic parts due to high permeation of helium
  • usually unsuitable for leakage rates >0.1 cc/min
  • manual operation and operator-dependent evaluation
  • quantitative leakage rate determination difficult

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