DETROIT, MI -- More and more new-model cars and light trucks are being equipped with capless fuel fillers that require new final assembly-line quality checks. LeakMaster of Evansville, Indiana, has worked with INFICON, a provider of leak-detection equipment for the auto industry, to develop a system that accurately tests filler pipes quickly and efficiently, while at the same time using much lower concentrations of tracer gas than more expensive vacuum-chamber systems.
The move to capless fuel fillers has been driven by the auto industry's need to meet stricter LEV II clean air regulations for passenger cars and light trucks that go into effect in 2017. In the new LeakMaster system, a technician places the filler pipe into a test station. Position sensors then automatically guide connections to the component.
Pressurized helium gas is pumped into the test piece and an INFICON T-Guard sensor is used to test for leaks by measuring gas that escapes into a two-foot by five-foot test chamber. The cycle time for each test is 40 seconds or less.
As LeakMaster's partner in the development of the new fuel-filler-pipe test system, INFICON provided input on tracer gas and tracer-gas accumulation in leak testing to LeakMaster system designers. INFICON application experts also provided additional detailed machine design assistance for the testing station.
INFICON T-Guard tracer-gas leak detectors currently are used to test a wide variety of automotive components ranging from fuel injectors, fuel fillers and heat exchangers each year. More than 50 million leak tests with T-Guard systems are performed annually on fuel injectors by auto makers and their suppliers alone.