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Compressed Air Controls can help you test your cylinders for air leaks and detect an air leak in your factory.

How to test a cylinder for an air leak

On an air system, if air is detected escaping from a 4-way valve exhaust while the cylinder is stopped, this air is either blowing by worn out piston seals, or is leaking across the spool in the 4-way valve. These two leakage paths are shown in the figure to the right.

Most air cylinders and valves have soft seals and should be leak-tight. However, those air valves having a metal-to-metal seal between the spool and body may be expected to have a small amount of leakage. If leakage is noted, it is more likely to be coming through the cylinder than across the valve spool, and the cylinder should be tested first.

Cylinder testing

Run the piston to one end of its stroke and leave it stalled in this position under pressure. Crack the fitting on the same end of the cylinder to check for fluid leakage. 

After checking, tighten the fitting and run the piston to the opposite end of the barrel and repeat the test. Occasionally a cylinder will leak at one point in mid stroke due to a scratch or dent in the barrel. Check suspected positions in mid stroke by installing a positive stop at the suspected position and run the piston rod against it for testing. Once in a great while a piston seal may leak intermittently. This is usually caused by a soft packing or O-ring moving slightly or rolling into different positions on the piston, and is more likely to happen on cylinders of large bore.

 

Lose less money by losing less air

If you have an air leak in your factory but are not sure where, we can help. Our Service Technicians can do a leak detection survey with our CS ultrasonic leak detector. The new LD 500 ultrasonic leak detector with an integrated camera, leakage calculation and optional Leak Reporter Software, can spot a leak from far away. 

In addition to compressed air leak detection, it also can measure and document dew point, flow, pressure and temperature.

Special features of Ultrasonic Leak Detector LD 500/510:

  • Find out leak size (cfm) and potential savings ($/year)- it has been adjusted to measure in the New Zealand Dollar

  • Find the smallest of leaks – even at far distances

  • Photograph the location leaking parts and import into the Leak Reporter Software

  • Describe the leak and necessary actions

 

 

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LD 500 Ultrasonic Leak Detector with Camera.JPG