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CTS Solutions: Hard Vacuum Mass Spectrometer Test System with Tracer Gas Technology for Refrigerant Expansion Valve Testing

Cincinnati Test Systems (CTS) had customer in need of a test solutions: leak testing their refrigerant expansion valves. The customer needed to verify that the assembly was assembled correctly and that all the joints were leak tight. To meet the micro-leak rate specification, CTS provided a single-station mass spectrometer hard vacuum system that included a TracerMate CS instrument that functions as the gas management, system control, and test execution element. The test system uses concentrated helium as the tracer gas for leak identification, and an Inficon LDS3000 as the integrated helium gas detector. The refrigerant expansion valve that the customer was testing features inlet and outlet ports with which to connect to the main HVAC assembly, and those ports were used to pressurize the valve for leak testing. The leak test system’s vacuum chamber is used to isolate the part from ambient atmosphere and to create a clean background for gas sampling. The test system includes two built-in leak standards: one for calibrating the system, and one for calibrating the sensitivity of the LDS3000 prior to each test cycle.


CTS: Easy, Automated Leak Testing with Recorded Results

The part is loaded into the system’s test chamber, where vacuum is pulled to remove background atmosphere from the chamber and the part itself. The chamber is then isolated for testing and the part is pressurized with helium for blockage testing. After blockage testing, a gross leak test is performed using the Inficon LDS3000. If the gross leak test is passed, a fine leak test is initiated, again using the Inficon unit.

CTS TracerMate CS Inficon LDS3000

The TracerMate CS instrument makes it easy for the operator to not only execute the test cycle, but also to view and record the results. After loading the test part, one push of a button is all that’s needed to run all three test cycles. If the tested parts pass inspection, a green LED illuminates and an “Accept” message appears on the instrument’s display; if the parts fail, a red LED lights up and a “Reject” message appears on the display. Pass/fail results don’t get much easier to interpret than that! The TracerMate unit also automatically saves and time-stamps all test results in its internal test log memory.


CTS: The World’s Best Leak Test Instruments

No one engineers and manufactures better, easier to use, or more versatile leak test systems than Cincinnati Test Systems. With our full line of reliable and accurate leak test instruments and the option to integrate Inficon modules or other components, we can provide a high-sensitivity leak test solution for nearly any application. Contact us today to discuss your leak testing needs.

You can also download our complimentary guide, "Tracer Gas Leak Testing in the Manufacturing of HVAC/R Assemblies." 

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