When you manufacture products, it’s important to test them thoroughly to make sure they perform as expected. However, you also need to make sure your packaging protects your products, or they may not make it to the customer in usable condition. You can use air leak detection equipment or water-based (bubble) methods to check for leaks. Let’s check out each method to see which one you should choose.

How Do Bubble Tests Work?

Here is an example of a water test. Suppose you make balloons and you want to be sure they don’t leak. All you need to do is fill a balloon with air and hold it under water. You may need to squeeze the balloon, but if there are any air leaks, you should see bubbles coming from the balloon and rising to the surface of the water.

Dye leak tests are similar but more effective. You put the test item in a pressurized chamber and expose it to a colored dye for a specific period of time. If there are leaks, you should see the dye inside the package you are testing.

Air Leak Detection Equipment

Air methods work by placing the item in a chamber and pressurizing it. The device measures the pressure (or vacuum) difference between the normal atmospheric pressure and pressure inside the test item. A pressure reading is taken at the beginning and end of the test, and the two measurements are compared. This gives you a leakage flow rate.

Benefits of Air Methods

Air pressure testing can easily be automated, and the test results are exact. It can register very slight leaks that are often missed with bubble leak detection equipment. There’s no need to submerge the test item in the water and then dry it off. Many air testing machines can do both vacuum and pressure decay testing.