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On-Demand Webinar:

Fundamentals of Helium Leak Detection

Everything leaks! This forty-minute webinar will describe the challenges of locating and measuring leaks. We’ll compare leak detection technologies and methods with respect to sensitivity, time, and cost, and we’ll explore helium tracer gas as a robust, sensitive and repeatable method of identifying leaks and determining leak rate.

Originally presented: July 12, 2017
Duration: 1 hour
Presented by:


It is true that everything leaks, but what we most often need to know is what kind of leak, where leaks are, or what the actual total leak rate of a part or system is. There are a number of technologies in use today to either locate or measure leaks, or even both. Each may have some advantages in terms of cost, sensitivity, repeatability, or ease of application, and the webinar will compare these. We'll also look at a number of parts and systems that require leak testing, and discuss leak rate values to provide perspective on the "size" of leaks and the impact on the quality or life of parts or systems.

In addition to the technology selection decision, we need to understand the test methods that are available and which may be most appropriate for a given part or system. These include testing "outside in," "inside out," sniffing, and accumulation. Each approach is intended to enable certain types of parts or systems to be tested in a manner which is consistent with the way that part or system is used. We'll review the characteristics of each method to understand its applicability to items you may need to test.

The webinar will also cover the use and benefits of helium as a tracer gas. As a light gas, helium readily and rapidly finds leak paths and can be detected quickly and reliably by a mass spectrometer instrument. Helium mass spectrometry leak detection provides a rapid, sensitive and reliable way to locate or precisely measure leaks that impact the quality or longevity of a very wide range of parts and systems.

Key Take-Aways

  • Learn the advantages and disadvantages of various leak detection technologies
  • Understand the different methods of locating leaks and determining leak rate, and which to employ for the product or system you need to test
  • Learn the advantages of helium tracer gas leak detection


John McLaren, Product Marketing Manager, Leak Detection, Agilent Technologies

John has over 25 years of leak detection experience. Prior to joining Agilent (formerly Varian) he was involved in leak detection process development at a major automotive parts supplier. Since joining Agilent/Varian in 1995 John has held various Sales, Sales Management and Marketing positions. In his current role, he directs product planning and development, creates specialized application solutions, and assists and trains Agilent's global sales organization.