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High Accuracy Non-A/C Powered Leak Tester and Volume Calibrator

Sandia National Laboratories

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PDF Document PublicationMarket Sheet (733 KB)

Technology Marketing SummaryThis novel invention relates to a portable, pneumatically -controlled instrument capable of generating a vacuum (less than 10 Torr), calibrating volumes, and performing quantitative leak tests, all without the use of A/C power.DescriptionThis means testing will not be disrupted when working in sensitive or hazardous environments (e.g., flammable or poisonous gases, lightning storms). No warm-up time is required for testing, with highly accurate results being generated within minutes.BenefitsNo A/C power required - Improved safety when working with flammable materials and continuous testing even in hazardous conditions

Fully pneumatically controlled - Does not require an operator to actuate process valves

Small size - Can easily be taken into the field
Applications and IndustriesSemiconductor Industry - The ability to detect leaks of highly flammable gases (such as hydrogen) is crucial to employee safety as well as project success. This novel technology would allow for gas leak detection in semiconductor processes without introducing electricity into the environment.

Solar Power Generation - This technology could potentially provide a much safer method of pumping hydrogen into Stirling Engines which could then be used to generate electricity.

Space Industry - Reducing the level of moisture present within a payload is critical to mission success as water can lead to moisture contamination which is often detrimental to experimental data. The absence of A/C power also eliminates issues with electrostatic discharge (ESD) which often has a fatal effect on on-board electronics.
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 8,201,438
Detection of gas leakage
A method of detecting leaks and measuring volumes as well as an apparatus, the Power-free Pump Module (PPM), that is a self-contained leak test and volume measurement apparatus that requires no external sources of electrical power during leak testing or volume measurement, where the invention is a portable, pneumatically-controlled instrument capable of generating a vacuum, calibrating volumes, and performing quantitative leak tests on a closed test system or device, all without the use of alternating current (AC) power. Capabilities include the ability is to provide a modest vacuum (less than 10 Torr), perform a pressure rise leak test, measure the gas's absolute pressure, and perform volume measurements. All operations are performed through a simple rotary control valve which controls pneumatically-operated manifold valves.
Sandia National Laboratories 06/19/2012
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
SD# 10710, US Patent PendingPrototype - Sandia estimates this technology at approximately TRL 6. A prototype of this technology has been developed and tested at Sandia.Available02/22/201203/19/2013

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