ASTM E499 / E499M - 11

    Standard Practice for Leaks Using the Mass Spectrometer Leak Detector in the Detector Probe Mode

    Active Standard ASTM E499 / E499M | Developed by Subcommittee: E07.08

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.03


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    Significance and Use

    Test Method A is frequently used to test large systems and complex piping installations that can be filled with a trace gas. Helium is normally used. The test method is used to locate leaks but cannot be used to quantify except for approximation. Care must be taken to provide sufficient ventilation to prevent increasing the helium background at the test site. Results are limited by the helium background and the percentage of the leaking trace gas captured by the probe.

    Test Method B is used to increase the concentration of trace gas coming through the leak by capturing it within an enclosure until the signal above the helium background can be detected. By introducing a calibrated leak into the same volume for a recorded time interval, leak rates can be measured.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers procedures for testing and locating the sources of gas leaking at the rate of 1 × 107 Pa m3/s (1 × 108 Std cm3/s) or greater. The test may be conducted on any device or component across which a pressure differential of helium or other suitable tracer gas may be created, and on which the effluent side of the leak to be tested is accessible for probing with the mass spectrometer sampling probe.

    1.2 Two test methods are described:

    1.2.1 Test Method ADirect probing, and

    1.2.2 Test Method BAccumulation.

    1.3 UnitsThe values stated in either SI or std-cc/sec units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents: therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E1316 Terminology for Nondestructive Examinations

    Other Documents

    ANSI/ASNTCP-189 ASNT Standard for Qualification and Certification of Nondestructive Testing Personnel


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 19.100 (Non-destructive testing)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41115404(Mass spectrometers); 41111809(Leak testing equipment)


    DOI: 10.1520/E0499_E0499M-11

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