It is essential to guarantee the safety of petrochemical plants, by checking the performance of the process and the pipelines, and intervening where necessary: leak tests with nitrogen and helium offered by SOL primarily aim to identify leaks which, in addition to increasing the environmental impact of the plant, reduce production efficiency; tracing and effectively and quickly eliminating any leaks, makes it possible to manage production in greater safety, in particular in the transport of liquid or gaseous products, above all if they are toxic, dangerous or inflammable. Moreover, the advancing age of plants and pipelines, together with their complexity, requires increasingly stringent, rigorous security standards: leak testing with mixtures of nitrogen and helium performs much better than traditional systems when searching for both large and small leaks, and above all it can be used to evaluate the size of the leaks. After careful analysis of the data the best corrective and preventive action can be taken in safety.
Leak testing is normally carried out after maintenance work has been completed and before any drying operations; it is done by slightly pressurising the plant to be tested for leaks with a mixture of SOL gases, nitrogen and a small percentage of helium. Helium is easy for very sensitive analysers to detect; these are placed near to joints, welds, valves or other components that could potentially leak the fluid. The SOL technical and technological service, in conjunction with the customer, evaluates the seriousness of the leak so as to provide the customer with the information needed to decide on any actions to be taken.