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Bubble Accumulation Leak Testing Assembly

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238170D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 172K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present disclosure relates to a leak detection assembly and method to measure the gas leak rate of a pressurized vessel by submerging the vessel in a tank filled with liquid and capturing the leaking gas in a submerged accumulation vessel of known cross-sectional area. An advantage of the present disclosure is a reduced test time and/or increased accuracy (i.e., test resolution) as opposed to volumetric measurements taken at the pressure of the test-subject part. This advantage is due to an expanded volume effect; the small volumetric leak rates at elevated pressure exhibit proportionally larger volumes when captured at lower pressure. Another advantage of the present disclosure is that the assembly and method may be used in place of helium leak testing and air pressure decay testing.

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Bubble Accumulation Leak Testing Assembly

            The present disclosure relates to a leak detection assembly and method to measure the gas leak rate of a pressurized vessel by submerging the vessel in a tank filled with liquid and capturing the leaking gas in a submerged accumulation vessel of known cross-sectional area.  An advantage of the present disclosure is a reduced test time and/or increased accuracy (i.e., test resolution) as opposed to volumetric measurements taken at the pressure of the test-subject part.  This advantage is due to an expanded volume effect; the small volumetric leak rates at elevated pressure exhibit proportionally larger volumes when captured at lower pressure.  Another advantage of the present disclosure is that the assembly and method may be used in place of helium leak testing and air pressure decay testing.

            One example of a bubble accumulation leak testing assembly 210 is shown in FIG. 1 as including a tank 200 with a liquid 201 (e.g., water), and inside the tank 200, submerged in the liquid 201, is a bubble cone 204 connected to a collection cylinder 205 and a valve 207.  Also submerged in the tank 200 is a test-subject part 203 secured near the bottom of the tank 200 by a floor mount 211.  The test-subject part 203 is situated underneath the bubble cone 204.  Gas 208 (e.g., air), which is more buoyant than the liquid 201, is pumped through the gas supply line 208A and into the test-subject part 203.  As the gas 208 leaks through the test-subject part 203, bubbles 209 are formed.  The bubbles 209 travel upwards, and are guided by the bubble cone 204 to the collection cylinder 205.  The collection cylinder 205 is capped at the top by the valve 207.  As the bubbles 209 accumulate in the collection cylinder 205 they create a gas pocket, which forms a meniscus 206, which marks the separation between gas 208 and liquid 201.  The valve 207 is in the closed position in order to trap the rising bubbles 209 within the collection cylinder 205, but the valve can be actuated to release the gas 208.


FIG. 1

            The process of the present disclosure obtains the volumetric leak flow rate of a test-subject part 203, using a series of steps.  Step 1, submerge and secure the test-subject part 203 in the tank 200.  Step 2, inflate the test-subject part 203.  Step 3, lower the bubble cone 204 and the collection cylinder 205 with the valve 207 open.  Step 4, agitate the liquid 201 around the part to purge any trapped gas.  Step 5, close the valve 207.  Step 6, measure the gas meniscu...