Leak Detection systems are used to ensure and monitor gas purity encompassing all of the process chambers. Methods normally include different sensors such as Catalytic Sensors and IR Open Path Sensors. Recently, however, different methods of detection have been used, such as Ultrasonic Gas Leak Detectors, or have grown more advanced like Helium Leak Detectors.
Traditional methods of gas leak detection, such as through an IR Open Path Sensor, require the gas to be either close to the detector or in an area that is already pre-defined. This can create dangerous situations in the case of outdoor conditions such as the dispersion of a potential gas cloud, as this can result in undetected gas leaks. Because of this, they are not always the preferred method of detection.
The alternative to this is to use a gas leak detector. An instrument like an Ultrasonic Gas Leak Detector uses ultrasound technology to detect outdoor leaks by sensing distinct high frequency noise emitted by a high pressure gas leak. This way the actual gas does not have to reach the sensor, but the sound of it must.
For a more basic form of gas detection, semiconductor gas detection is used. The sensor is able to detect a variety of gases from combustible to refrigerant gases. They are very economical and have a long lifespan, usually lasting 5 to 8 years. Unfortunately, they are prone to cross sensitivity, which can cause problems for certain fields that might use them.
Helium leak detectors are a specific type of gas leak detector that is commonly used in the semiconductor industry. Since the 1990’s, the industry has switched to using dry vacuum pumping packaging, and thus dry gas leak detection. Dry leak detection is important due to the fact that oil can backstream in a standard leak detector, mostly during the roughing phase of testing. A higher temperature, a lower pressure, and a longer time of operation increase the level of backstreaming.
There are even more methods of gas leak detection that exist, but are used for different fields or more specialized uses. The above are only the most commonly used methods.