Bombing as a method to accelerate air ingress
Headspace Analysis (HSA) as a test method for leak detection is based on the detection of a certain trace gas in the headspace. A typical application of this method is containers with negative pressure, which then increases the oxygen content in the headspace in the event of a leak, e.g. in ambient air.
In the case of containers which, however, are not sealed with negative pressure or have already been sealed with air, the oxygen content changes only very slowly over time in the event of a leak. This applies to most liquid-filled packaging containers. For these cases, leak detection wouldn’t have been possible to achieve using the very fast, precise and non-destructive HSA method. Despite these challenges, bombing makes using HSA for leak detection possible.
In the event of a leak, the gas composition of the headspace can be modified by specifically changing the ambient conditions, especially the pressure and the gas mixture in the environment. In case of a leak, the modified gas in the environment will change the gas composition in the container. This modification can then be detected with the appropriate HSA sensor. Possible changes to the environment include e.g. cycles with over- or under pressure in air, or with carbon dioxide. In these cases, an oxygen HSA would detect a changed oxygen content or a carbon dioxide HSA a changed carbon dioxide content in the headspace. Since a modification of the headspace can be achieved by a pressure change or a change in the gas composition in the environment, all packaging materials from primary packaging materials to application devices can be tested with this method.