If you are food packaging manufacturer, it is important to keep the packaging sealed and free of any leaks. Leaks can cause some major problems for you if the package that is used for food is not protecting it. That is why leak detection equipment is an important tool. This type of equipment can keep your company from running into problems such as contamination or irregularities. The following equipment and methods are used to test for packaging leaks.
1. Vacuum Chamber
This method of detecting leaks in food packaging is important to food producers that ship their products by air. This test ensures that the packaging will not collapse if it travels through high altitudes. Using a vacuum chamber ensures that any plane shipments can be facilitated as planned.
2. Immersion Equipment
To test packaging with foodstuffs shipped by air, manufacturers submerge the packaging in water as well. This is done to check for bubbles. The bursting point of the seal is used to calculate the packaging material’s strength. The structural characteristics of the packaging as well as external forces are both taken into account when testing is performed. A tear-off machine is used for measuring the mechanical properties of packaging material.
The bubble test technique is used for packaging that contains air. If the tester sees bubbles in the packaging, it means the test is positive. Therefore, the manufacturer cannot ship the product or place it in the marketplace for sale.
3. Gas Leak Detection Equipment
When gas leak detection is used for checking for leaks, it is done to locate small holes in the food packaging materials. Whilst this detection method is used in other industries, it is now a common way to make assessments in packaging for food. The main gases that are used in such testing are hydrogen, helium, or carbon monoxide. Therefore, this test helps manufacturers see if gas is leaking from a package.
4. Using a Dry Chamber
A dry chamber is often used to check leaks in beverage products. A product is placed into the chamber before it is set inside a vacuum. An absorbent material is employed to evaluate any packaging deformities. If any liquid is found, it means the packaging has tested positive. Therefore, the beverage product cannot be shipped.
5. Ultrasonic Equipment
When this type of equipment is used, the food package is set next to a transducer. The transducer generates an ultrasonic wave. If the wavelength of the echo is altered, a defect has been encountered. When this occurs, the data is formed into an image. This type of leak detection method can be compared to ultrasound testing when an ultrasound scan is used to view a fetus in a womb.
6. Machine Vision Testing Equipment
This test equipment features a computer that is equipped with a camera to visually assess food packages for leaks. This updated form of technology can find leaks that are as small as five millimetres and determine a jar lid’s position within .25 millimetres as well.
As you can see, various testing methods can be used to locate leaks in a food packages. The type of equipment that is used is based on the type of food package as well as the shipping method. Therefore, these factors will help you make a decision as to the best type of equipment to use.