Underwater Vacuum Leak Test

The ASTM vacuum leak test goes by a number of different names, including submersion leak test, underwater immersion test, or submersion test. This test method is performed using a clear, acrylic tank to hold water. Packages are submerged in the tank which is then shut closed and a vacuum is pulled on the water tank.

If there are any leaks in the package (breaches to the sterile barrier), the user will see a small, steady stream emanating from the package while it is under vacuum. This test method is useful for pouches, trays, and some rigid containers like vials and bottles.

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Industry Application

Underwater vacuum leak testing is a whole-package integrity test capable of detecting gross leaks in the body of packages or in package seals.

Frequently asked questions

What does underwater vacuum leak test for?

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This test method covers the determination of gross leaks in flexible packaging containing headspace.

How sensitive is underwater vacuum leak testing?

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Underwater vacuum leak per ASTM D3078 is sensitive down to 250 microns for flexible packaging.

Why use underwater vacuum leak?

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Underwater vacuum leak testing may be appropriate especially for small packages and containers which are difficult to evaluate by other package integrity test methods.