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Metrology of the leak detection - Practical guide


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72
07/03/2014
978-2-36233-164-0
SODIS
9782362331640

Metrology of the leak detection - Practical guide

Developed by the EMRP IND 12 consortium - October 2015

Leaks have not always been a major issue in vacuum technology where they are a limiting factor to the ultimate pressure and the purity of a process gas that can be reached in a vacuum vessel, but also in any other container, be it for operational reasons (e.g. engines, air bags or pace makers), security reasons (e.g. for poisonous or radioactive materials) or environmental reasons. Limitations of refrigerant gas leakages were pointed out in regulations to meet recommendations of the Kyoto Protocol (1997). The above mentioned examples are far from being exhaustive and the leak measurement is a crucial concern in many industries.

This practical guide deals with tools and theory in the field of the gas leak detection under the angle of metrology, in a  range from 1 x 10-10 Pa·m3·s-1 to 1 x 10‑4 Pa·m3·s-1, considering leaks towards atmosphere or vacuum.

Leaks are, in general, very low gas flows.
The Chapter I introduces the gas flow metrology and contains definitions and current units found in industry and research. The primary standards for low gas flows in the European National metrology institutes, which took part in the project EMRP IND12, with the associated measurement uncertainties are presented.

To ensure leak measurements traceability, people in industry need tools more practical than primary standards: leak artefacts are the secondary standards. Depending on the artefact type (permeation or conductance), the downstream pressure where the gas flows (vacuum or atmosphere), the behaviour of the instruments differs.
The Chapter II gives theory and characteristics of the different leak artefacts.

The Chapter III delves into helium leak detection, a method used world-wide to detect and quantify leaks. After a complete description of helium leak detectors and their principle, the metrological characteristics of three of these detectors assessed during the project EMRP IND12 are presented.

The Chapter IV focuses on the refrigerant leak detection. The environmental issue of greenhouse gases emissions was pointed out during the Kyoto protocol in 1997 and it was then decided to limit their emission. In Europe regulations were published afterwards, where it is in particular mandatory for owners of air conditioning equipment to have a suitable refrigerant leak detector. In this chapter, principle of the refrigerant leak detectors and the evaluation of their performance according to the standard EN 14624:2012 are presented. Evaluation of eight commercially available instruments was performed in the frame of the project EMRP IND12 which has resulted in a series of recommendations for using the instruments as properly as possible.

Finally, the reader will find in the Annexes some additional information about the vocabulary of metrology, some uncertainty assessment general considerations and a simple model to predict the gas flow in capillary leaks from few measurements with one gas species.

This work underlying this guide and also the development of the guide itself was supported by the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) in the designated project IND12 "Vacuum for production environments". The EMRP is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.

 

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DÉCOUVREZ NOS AUTEURS

LNE - Laboratoire national de métrologie et d'essais

Le Laboratoire national de métrologie et d'essais est le laboratoire de référence chargé d'accompagner la collectivité dans son évolution et ses progrès, pour améliorer la compétitivité des entreprises tout en préservant un haut niveau d'exigences en matière de sécurité des consommateurs, santé publique, protection de l'environnement et maîtrise de l'énergie.

Depuis janvier 2005, le laboratoire est chargé de coordonner la métrologie française et de la représenter à l'étranger.

Visiter le site de l'auteur : www.lne.fr
 

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