It is paramount that you have good packaging for your food. The package performs a critical role or preserving the quality of the food before it reaches the customer. Therefore, it is important that firms acquire the latest leak detection equipment to ensure the integrity of their packaging. There are different methods of detecting leaks.
1. Trace Gas Method
The trace gas method is a simple method to determine if a package is leaking. You will perform it in an airtight chamber. It is critical to avoid contamination of the trace gas which will indicate the presence of the leak. A gas sensor in the chamber will indicate the concentration of the trace gas in the chamber. If the packaging is faulty, there will be an increase in its concentration in the chamber. The method is useful for detecting micro-leakages.
2. Altitude Simulation Method
When you design packages for your food, you should be aware that users can carry them on planes. It is critical that the seals can withstand the pressure changes that come with high altitudes. There is a high possibility of the seals failing during taking off and when the plane is landing. It is because during this times the altitude changes rapidly. You can carry out the test in a wet or dry chamber depending on the contents. After that, you will use a vacuum versus altitude to determine the ability to withstand the changes in altitude.
3. Dry Chamber Testing
When you have a liquid product, you will place it in a package that has a little head space. The head space refers to the space in the container that the liquid does not occupy which is filled with air. You will place the package in a dry chamber and then place the chamber on a material that is absorbent. A common absorbent is a paper towel. After that, you will draw a vacuum. The amount of vacuum that you draw will depend on the specifications set by the operator. In case the packaging is faulty, the absorbent will get wet when you draw the vacuum. You can use this test even for packages that have no head space.
4. Bubble Emission Method
The bubble emission method is useful for testing packages that have some volume of air. It involves placing the package in an airtight chamber while completely submerged in water. After that, you will draw a vacuum in the chamber. If the seals in the package are compromised, you will see the emission of bubbles in the water. An advantage of the method is that you will be able to pinpoint the area that is leaking.