The act of finding leaks in enclosed systems using helium as a "tracer gas" and the variation in its concentration is measured as it escapes due to leakage. For example, A vial, consisting of a container and elastomeric closure is an enclosed package system. Other examples include a prefilled syringe, a foil pouch or a cold form blister card. Each of these package types is designed and intended to keep out any detrimental environmental contaminants, such as debris, microorganisms, or even gases and maintain the sterility of the drug product contained. The amount of helium escaping that package is quantitatively measured and stated as a leak rate. The helium leak detection is a highly sensitive method to evaluate each of them.
Helium Leak Detection Technology
Following are the key qualities that make Helium gas ideal for package leak testing:
- Helium gas is one of the smallest molecules, allowing it to breach pathways reliably and quickly.
- It is an inert gas & it will not interact with the components being tested, thus making it is safe to use
- The instrument noise due to environmental helium is inherently low because of its limited presence in the atmosphere at less than 5ppm and thus gives incredibly accurate reports
Seal Integrity Monitoring System
The most current model, the Seal Integrity Monitoring System (SIMS) 1915+, is the perfect choice for your helium-based leak detection system. Packages can be quantitatively tested with high levels of accuracy using helium as the tracer gas that ensures, compared to conventional vacuum bubble and dye penetration test methods. Such an approach allows a comparison between multiple packaging materials and forms production line settings and stability storage conditions, supporting the entire lifecycle.
The LDA SIMS 1915+ has an array of applications that include package design, tooling qualification, production line setup and ongoing product quality monitoring. It is also effective for a variety of package types including cold form blister cards, foil pouches, parenteral vials, syringes, pre-filled syringes and unique medical devices.
Depending on the client’s specific requirement, each SIMS 1915+ Helium Leak Testing instrument can be customized. Instrument build specifications are determined based on the following key factors.
- Identifying the type of package(s) that needs to be tested with this instrument – Vials, Blister Cards, Syringes, Cartridge System or Medical Device. Determine size and closure type and whenever possible a schematic of the package or device can help optimize the test system.
- Country of installation of the instrument.
SIMS is specifically designed for the needs of pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The Seal Integrity Monitoring System (SIMS) Model 1915+ is a helium-based leak testing system that features an oil-free pump, detector and integrated power system. It enables quantitative analysis of package systems at sensitivity levels as low as 1 x 10 -10 cc/s at room temperature. The most critical component, the Helium Leak Detector Module (HLDM), is engineered into a Console Frame Assembly that features a stainless-steel working surface and optional Dual Test Port Manifold. The consoles are fitted with a locking wheel and articulating arm system for mounting of the computer and peripherals, making the freestanding unit easy to use and maneuver.
In addition to instrumentation and accessories, we also offer complete sets of calibrated helium leak standards to support routine use, daily performance verification or system suitability checks, and scheduled qualifications.
Internal Leak Standards: Each SIMS 1915+ contains an internal helium leak standard. Corresponding to a known leak rate, this tool is calibrated to release a specific concentration of helium. It is used automatically by the instrument on each day of use, or on demand for a point-of-use autocalibration prior to analysis.