Orbital Fabrications

The Many Reasons to Test for Leaks

What could be more essential than testing leaks in components, valves, pipes, storage tanks and manifolds in your facility?

Testing for leaks is essential not only for the smooth running of facilities and for all-important workplace safety, but also for component durability and meeting specifications and quality assurance.

  • Smooth Operations and Workplace Safety

Preventing equipment malfunction or failure and operational downtimes must be a priority across every facility, as does workplace safety – these alone mean that thorough and ultra-reliable leak testing is crucial.

  • Longer Component Life

Leak testing isn’t only a safety and efficiency measure, however. It also helps extend the life of components, detecting any problems early on so they can be quickly and comprehensively addressed. Leak testing improves component durability, saving time and money in the medium and long term.

  • Meeting Product Specs and ISO Standards

Leak testing is also, of course, a key feature in attaining product specifications and ISO quality assurance standards.


Why is Helium the Go-To Leak Testing Method?

Helium has been the premier gas-based leak testing method for a very long time now, and with good reason!

Trace gases need to be inert, reliably available, inexpensive and have a very low presence in ambient air, all of which make helium the go-to gas. It’s also among the lightest and smallest of molecules, and unlike hydrogen it’s inflammable and inexpensive. Helium is also non-toxic and non-reactive, making it super-safe for use; in addition, it’s naturally rare in the atmosphere, as well as having good separation from other gases, and it can be used to test the very smallest of spaces.

All of these attributes make helium leak detection the most widely used testing method for applications that require premium leak sensitivity.


Orbital’s Helium Leak Testing Service

At Orbital Fabrications we’re a market leader in the design, fabrication and in the assembly of high purity gas and fluid handling systems. Among our range of services, we’re proud to offer a helium leak testing service whereby we’re able to comprehensively check customers’ assemblies for integrity.

Our three mass-spec helium leak checkers can detect leak rates as low as 5 x 10-10 mbarl/sec in ultra-high purity and vacuum applications; assemblies can also be tested in our own test facility to bottle pressure and beyond. We also have the capability to Dye Pen check any assemblies.

Over the years we’ve developed strong working relationships with independent inspection and testing organisations who can undertake radiography and other non-destructive & destructive testing on our behalf, ensuring customers’ compliance with the various recognized specifications.


Orbital Fabrications, based in Cambridge, is a market leader in orbital welding, specialist welding, and assembly of gas and fluid handling systems.  Established in 1988, Orbital Fabrications has over 30 years’ experience offering specialised orbital welding and high-tech fabrication to a variety of clients within the Semiconductor, Pharmaceutical, Aerospace, Chemical and Allied industries.

Orbital Fabrications is continually investing in the latest welding technology and equipment and they have one of the country’s best-equipped workshops, including a cleanroom and a machine shop.

A recent investment of £95,000 in a computer-controlled precision welding system permits wire feed and lathe welding which positions Orbital Fabrications at the forefront of technology. The lathe offers more flexibility of welding thicker walled and more exotic materials such as Inconel, Duplex and Hastelloy. The company has a highly skilled team that provides a comprehensive in-house, on-site Orbital and specialised TIG Welding service.

For more information about Orbital Fabrication’s orbital welding or any other of its welding or fabrication services please contact us here.