The Rising Cost of Helium May Be Straining Your Budget

A number of industries rely on leak detection equipment and other leak testing services to ensure their products are safe and effective for consumer use: radiators, for example, are subject to a very tight leak specification to ensure that the product does not leak coolant. This can be instrumental in ensuring product quality and consumer safety. However, a number of businesses are facing rising costs as supplies for a popular leak testing procedure, helium leak testing, face a global shortage. Helium is a naturally-occurring element used for a number of purposes in several fields. Leak testing is only one of these uses, but because helium is the most popular tracer gas in production leak testing, a high number of companies rely on it for this reason. Unfortunately, because helium is naturally-occurring, the high rate of usage has gradually taken a toll: demand is exceeding the available supply causing not only price increase but also supply interruptions in parts of the world. As a result, the cost of helium has increased as much as 50 to 60% in the past few years. Helium leak detection was never cheap, as the leak detection equipment this process uses is also extremely complex and costly. However, due to the increasing prices of the tracer gas, many companies have likely found themselves searching for a more affordable and equally-effective way to test their products. For many businesses, air leak testing may be the option they have been searching for. While this type of leak detection equipment uses shop air, making it much more affordable than helium leak detectors, it is able to measure to the same levels as helium leak test procedures. This gives companies the ability to guarantee the quality and safety of their products as they did before, while spending considerably less money. Changing an established procedure can be a difficult choice for many businesses: while innovation is often a vital component to success, an ill-considered decision can compromise quality and harm the products themselves. However, given the cost and complexity of helium leak testing, a change to air leak testing is likely less of a risk than a wise investment. Review your leak testing process today and decide if it is time for a change.

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