The Lowdown on Leakage
Leaks can lead to ineffective and inefficient fluid systems, no matter your industry, equipment, or application. Plus, there are potential overall safety and operational cost implications, no matter how small your air or gas leaks.
WHY do fluid-system leaks occur?
Three major causes:
- Unreliable metal-to-metal seals. These can be especially difficult to manage over time as you try to keep and maintain the integrity of the seal. Precisely follow your chosen manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Improperly installed tube fittings. Make sure your maintenance technicians are fully educated on how to properly and safely make up fittings, including how to correctly orient the ferrules – and how to employ a gap-inspection gauge to verify the fitting has been sufficiently tightened.
- Poor tubing selection, handling, and preparation. Tubing materials that are incompatible with your process fluid or operating environment are prone to corrosion, premature failure, and leaks. Plus, any tubing defects (uneven cuts, dents, scratches, or burrs) could compromise the fitting’s ability to seal.
Here are the three primary types of fluid-system leaks:
- Real: Result from the failure of a pressure barrier to contain or isolate a fluid from the surrounding environment. Usually occurs because of cracks in the material or gaps between sealing surfaces.
- Virtual: A release of internally trapped fluid into a system because of material outgassing, absorbed/adsorbed fluids, entrapment in crevices, or “dead legs.”
- Permeation: Passage of fluid into, through, and out of a pressure barrier that doesn’t have holes large enough to enable more than a small fraction of the molecules to flow through any one hole.
How can Swagelok Pittsburgh | Tri-State Area’s Strategic Support Services Team help you spot, repair, and avoid system leakage, thus enhancing your workplace safety and Bottom Line?
First, sign up for a no-cost Energy Evaluation that will classify and document your problematic connections by size and severity. We use a combination of visual, ultrasound, and film solution methodology to expose your dangerous and costly gas and/or air leaks. We then deliver a comprehensive report, chockful of expert repair/replace recommendations to enable you to achieve significantly improved system performance.
In addition, register for our Fitting Installation & Tube Bending Safety Essentials one-day course that teaches students how to safely and confidently pull up tube fittings and expertly bend tubing of various materials.
And, of course, our expert Custom Fabrication services offer unmatched consultation, design, and/or build assistance: sub-assemblies, simple assemblies, and large, complex instrumentation panels. All such work is performed by Swagelok-certified technicians – and is 100%-backed by the Swagelok Limited Lifetime Warranty.