INFICON Launches Three Extensions for More Efficient Helium Leak Detection (2024)

From INFICON Inc.Reviewed by Lexie CornerJun 27 2024

Leak tests are essential in semiconductor factories and in the manufacture of solar cells and flat panel displays. Identifying the smallest leaks with helium leak detection is important for maintaining the required purity, avoiding defects and ultimately for product quality. To enhance the UL family of leak testers, INFICON has therefore launched the three intelligent additions SMART-Spray, I·BOOST and SPRAY-Check. The specialist in measurement technology, sensor technology and control software thus ensures easier handling, faster response times, shorter test cycles and more reliable measurement results.

INFICON Launches Three Extensions for More Efficient Helium Leak Detection (1)

SMART-Spray: Fast, Simple and Reliable

INFICON is offering a new helium spray gun with the SMART-Spray. The hose-bound handling of large helium cylinders and the error-prone adjustment of the spray volume are a thing of the past with SMART-Spray. "The handy device, which is designed for over 1,000 sprays per helium filling, replaces a remote control and combines its functions with those of a manual helium spray gun," says Product Manager Markus Schwambera, summarising the advantages. Equipped with an illuminated colour display, it makes leak detection on complex semiconductor systems with many test points and potential leaks easier. These applications are characterised by limit leak rates of less than 1 x 10-9 mbar x l/s. In these applications, the battery-operated, portable device makes leak testing more flexible, simpler and more efficient.

I·BOOST: Short RespOnse Time, Precise Measurement Result

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With the signal processing filter I·BOOST software update, INFICON accelerates the leak rate signal. This shortens the response and test times, especially for the UL3000 Fab and UL6000 Fab series, because the test points can be sprayed at shorter intervals. "The bottom line is that this results in a time saving up to 50 % in leak detection in all measuring ranges," says Product Manager Markus Schwambera, outlining the leap in efficiency. "Users who purchase the licence achieve faster and more precise measurement results for different chamber volumes," assures Schwambera. The benefits of I·BOOST are also particularly effective in complex semiconductor systems. "The lower the limit leakage rates, the longer the test cycles usually take – and this is where the higher sensitivity and time savings of I·BOOST have the greatest impact," argues Schwambera.

SPRAY-Check: Easy to Install Test Leak

With the SPRAY-Check, INFICON offers an easy-to-install test leak. "The tool is based on quartz windows that are only permeable to light gases such as helium and hydrogen. This increases safety and extends the functionality of leak detection," explains Markus Schwambera. SPRAY-Check allows the measurement set-up and test method to be checked in the relevant leak rate range. It can also be attached directly to the system to carry out dead-time checks. "Sometimes a certain amount of time elapses between the spray shot and the indication on the display," says Markus Schwambera. This allows users to better estimate how long the pause between spraying points should last so that potential leaks can be clearly assigned. The exclusion procedure applies: If there is no indication after the dead time has elapsed, there is no leak. "Because SPRAY-Check is impermeable to gases that are harmful to the process, such as water or oxygen, it can also remain mounted on the semiconductor system," explains the product manager. Important areas of application are systems with limit leakage rates below 10-9 mbar x l/s.

These Smart Essentials Are Available Worldwide

SMART-Spray, I·BOOST and SPRAY-Check are suitable for all mobile INFICON helium leak detectors of the UL family, whereby I·BOOST is limited to the latest generation of UL devices (UL3000 Fab/UL6000 Fab series). The UL6000 Fab is the most powerful and best device on the market for larger test volumes in modern semiconductor factories and coating systems with very large chamber volumes. It offers the fastest response times and shortest test times in all measuring ranges. Its compact design makes it easy to maneuver even in tight spaces. The UL3000 Fab series was also developed for leak detection in semiconductor factories. "It is characterised by flexibility, mobility, fast commissioning and high sensitivity. Users also receive their precise test results very quickly" and are the standard in modern semiconductor factories," emphasises Product Manager Markus Schwambera. The UL3000 Fab also requires only a small footprint and can be easily and maneuvered through narrow spaces. The UL1000 Fab series covers a wide range of applications when it comes to economical helium vacuum leak tests in industrial or semiconductor environments - especially for smaller chamber volumes. The main advantages: The device is very powerful, robust and inexpensive to purchase.

INFICON Launches Three Extensions for More Efficient Helium Leak Detection (2024)


What are the methods of helium leak detector? ›

There are 2 basic techniques; high vacuum testing which allows leak test thresholds to be set down as low as 1×10-12mbar. l. sec-1, or sniffing which is generally used for helium leaks down to 1×10-6mbar.

What are the standards for helium leak detection? ›

The range of sensitivity levels are described according to the following criteria: Large leaks — 10-2 Pa·m 3/s to 10-5 Pa·m3/s (10–1 cc/sec/atm to 10-4 cc/sec/atm). Moderate leaks — 10-5 Pa·m 3/s to 10-7 Pa·m3/s (10-4 cc/sec/atm to 10-6 cc/sec/atm).

What is the leak rate for helium leak test? ›

A leak rate of 10-12 mbar · l/s corresponds to hole diameter of 1 Å; this is the lower detection limit for modern helium leak detectors.

What is the limit for helium leak test? ›

All spectrometers have a lower limit of what size leak they can reliably measure under ideal conditions, typically somewhere in the 10–11 mbar·L/s range. Being able to “see” a response to a very small leak is one matter; achieving repeatable measurements requires extreme care in the design of the test system.

What are three leak detecting devices? ›

In HVAC systems and commercial refrigeration, leak detection is part of loss prevention and quality control. The three common types of leak detection systems (LDS) are chemical, pressure, and acoustic.

Which method is best for leak detection? ›

Here are a few common methods used for accurately finding leaks: Thermal Imaging: A thermal imaging camera detects temperature changes and displays a map of temperature variations on a screen. Whether it's hot or cold, leaking water is typically a different temperature than its surrounding environment.

What are the specs of a helium leak detector? ›

Specifications :-
UnitsModular Helium Leak Detector
I/O InterfaceRS232, Digital, Analog, USB
Start-up time (20° C)min<3
Operating Tempcelsius10° to 45°
Dimensions – vacuum modulemm279 x 264 x 197
13 more rows

What is the alternative to helium leak testing? ›

Hydrogen leak testing

After creating this hydrogen and inert gas mix, similar to the process in helium leak testing, the leak rates can be determined using hydrogen leak through rates and detectors for hydrogen.

What is the ASTM for leak detection? ›

ASTM F2338-09 is recognised by the FDA as the consensus standard for non-destructive detection of leaks in packages.

What are the two most common leak detection tests? ›

Spray test and sniffing leak detection are the two most common leak detection tests that use the tracer gas helium or hydrogen. The spray test is the ideal test method for components under vacuum. This measurement principle has the highest sensitivity of all available methods.

What is the hood method of helium leak test? ›

(2) Vacuum Hood Method

To detect helium coming inside the test object after evacuating the inside of the test object, hooding the outside of the test object and filling helium gas in the hood. ・Possible to quantify the total leakage of the test object that can be evacuated, but impossible to find a leak point.

Is leak detection worth it? ›

Prevent Property Damage

Leaks hidden in walls, floors, or ceilings can weaken the structure of your property. This can lead to expensive repairs or, in extreme cases, require extensive renovations. By investing in a leak detection tool, you can proactively identify leaks before they cause significant damage.

What grade helium for leak detection? ›

Helium Purity

Any grade of helium even down to helium 2.0 can be used for leak detection without any problems. So simply use the grade that is offered at the lowest price.

How to perform a helium leak test? ›

The objects to be tested, get in a pressure chamber exposed to the helium search gas. During an exposure time of up to several hours at a high helium pressure, the helium will penetrate through any leaks present in the test object. This is the part referred to as the "bombing".

What is the sniffer method of helium leak test? ›

The helium sniffing leak test is a method that uses helium as a tracer gas in combination with instrumentation that can detect presence of helium in the environment and more specifically an increase in helium due to a leaking part.

What are the methods of air leak detection? ›

Light an incense stick and carefully pass it around the edges of common leak sites. Wherever the smoke wavers or is sucked out of or blown into the room, there's a draft. You can also use a damp hand to locate leaks; any drafts will feel cool to your hand.

What is the most common method of leak detection? ›

The most common leak detection method for pipeline operators is called the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. This system uses a series of sensors to track data such as pressure, flow rates, temperature, and whether valves are open or closed.

What are several different methods of leak detection are available including? ›

The most commonly used leak test methods are underwater bubble test, bubble soap paint, pressure and vacuum decay, and tracer gas detectors (halogen, helium and hydrogen).


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