Underwater Vacuum Leak Test

ASTM D3078 Standard Test Method for Determination of Air Leaks in Flexible Packaging by Bubble Emission

The ASTM vacuum leak test goes by a number of different names, including submersion leak test, underwater immersion test, or submersion test. Regardless of the title, this testing method is a procedure where a package is submerged underwater and visually inspected for leaks via the emission of bubbles.

Industry Application

Underwater vacuum leak testing is a whole-package integrity test. It is typically performed on rigid packaging systems, such as bottles or vials. Underwater vacuum leak testing is most often part of a closure validation, or transit or shelf life simulations. The sensitivity of this test is 250 microns. It is performed by submerging the package in a water-filled vacuum chamber and observing for a steady stream of bubbles, indicating a breach of the sterile barrier.