Detroit-based Inficon, which creates leak-detection technology for the auto industry, has introduced a handheld probe equipped with a hydrogen sensor.
The Strix sensor and hand probe are suited for leak testing a range of automotive systems and components including engine assemblies, air-conditioning systems, battery cases, brake lines, and fuel systems.
The model is 30 percent lighter than the company’s P60 hand probe, and the top of the probe is 12.5 percent smaller for easier access to hard-to-reach checkpoints. Algorithms are also designed to shorten measurement times and improve accuracy.
The sensor has an expected lifetime of at least a year, compared to sensors that need replacement three or four times a year.
Connected to an Inficon Sentrac Hydrogen Leak Detector, Sentrac Strix systems use a non-flammable mixture of hydrogen and nitrogen as a tracer gas to find leaks. With forming gas injected into the product, an operator can use the probe to detect escaping gas.
The leak detector does not draw gas into the unit for analysis, instead it relies on a sensor at the tip of the probe. This improves response time and reduces dust buildup in the instrument, which lowers maintenance costs.
“Our Strix sensor responds faster, gives a clear signal and provides intuitive guidance, helping the operator to easily pinpoint and quantify leaks,” says Thomas Parker, North American automotive sales manager at Inficon. “The new sensor also recovers faster after detecting a leak, rapidly returning to its normal state even after high exposure to tracer gas. With the signal clearing quickly, the operator is able to save time and continue leak searches without delay.”
Parker adds that the detector can identify large leaks without becoming oversaturated. It can also handle high background levels of hydrogen, enabling leak searches to continue in a workstation that is momentarily contaminated with escaped forming gas.
The Sentrac Strix Edition is designed for manufacturers of refrigeration and air-conditioning systems where acceptable leakage rates are often very low.
Inficon has manufacturing facilities in Europe, China, and the U.S., as well as sales and service offices around the world.