Checking the tightness of heat exchangers

What can only one invisible to the eye crack in the heat exchanger lead to? ​ How to detect it and how to avoid expensive equipment repairs?
Gas Teasting analyzer
Engineering a green and sustainable operation is crucial for ensuring the production of safe and high-performance quality food.

Heat exchangers, integral components in food production, are subject to challenging conditions such as unstable and humid environments, extreme temperatures, and exposure to various chemical compounds.

Over time, the likelihood of imperceptible defects smaller than an air molecule increases, posing risks to the heat exchanger’s performance. Therefore, it becomes essential to periodically recheck the tightness of heat exchangers to identify any potential flaws. This re-verification process ensures that the heat exchangers remain in optimal condition, promoting the safety and efficiency of food production.

Neglecting the timely replacement of a damaged element in the heat exchanger can have detrimental effects on the quality of the final product. It may also lead to equipment failure and, in the worst-case scenario, result in industrial injuries. By emphasizing the importance of rechecking the heat exchanger for tightness, manufacturers can maintain high-quality standards and prevent potential accidents.

The engineering aspect of maintaining a green and efficient operation necessitates regular re-verification of heat exchangers to uphold their performance, guarantee food safety, and mitigate any risks associated with faulty equipment.

Plate-type heat exchangers' types of damage

How to detect a hidden equipment defect

1,5 hours
Heat exchanger audit
per section
4 hours
Detailed report ready
Leakage detection
 Leak detection guarantee
Average cost 
per 1 section test
Gas testing technology without equipment disassembling​
GasTest —
no time or a quest!
Test steps
  1. CIP cleaning of heat exchangers.​
  2. Disconnecting product and utility piping.
  1. One part of the heat exchanger is pumped with safe forming gas (hydrogen 10% + nitrogen 90%).
  2. In the other part, a diaphragm pump provides air circulation in a closed circuit. ​
  3. If there is damage in the plate, hydrogen molecules will penetrate the part with air mixture circulation at the leak point.​
  4. The integrity tester will fix the location and size of the defect, as well as the rate of hydrogen molecules leakage in the damaged plate.​
  5. Checking the seals of the heat exchanger over the entire surface. ​
  • Confirmation of the presence or absence of damage. ​
  • The size of the detected defects.​
  • Photographic evidences of damages.​
  • Recommendations for elimination of defects and further operation.

Why gas test is better than disassembly?

The equipment disassembly with subsequent visual inspection of the plate-type heat exchanger does not require large financial expenses.
However, when disassembling:
  1. Downtime of the production process is inevitable (up to 3 days).​
  2. There is a high risk of damage to seals and plates. ​
  3. It is necessary to change even appropriate seals (up to 7000 Euros per set).​
  4. A company personnel’ workforce costs increase.​
  5. Impossibility of microcracks detection.

Comparison table of test methods for heat exchangers

Testing methods
Hydraulic proof test
Hydrochemical test
Dye-penetrant test
Gas test N2H2

Microcrack ​

< 30 microns​

Microcrack ​

> 30 microns


7 advantages

Heat exchanger
Heat exchanger
  • check
    Reduces risks associated with product quality.
  • check
    Detects a problem before the company incurs losses.
  • check

    Uses environmentally friendly hydrogen at a safe concentration of 10%.​

  • check
    Has effective efficiency (9 times) compared to other tests without disassembling.
  • check

    Eliminates migration of media and refrigerant coolant dilution.​

  • check
    Saves labor costs of own personnel by 95%.
  • check
    Does not require additional water consumption.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For want of a horse the rider was lost,
For want of a rider the battle was lost,
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of horseshoe nail
S. Marshak, "The Nail and the Horseshoe"