Introduction to Package Testers


Introduction to Package Testers

Package testing can be regarded as a two-part process. Your package testing system should include both package integrity (leak) testing and seal strength testing, two complementary but very different procedures. It has come a long way from submerging your package and watching for bubbles to rise.

If you are new to package testing or would like your vocabulary refreshed, we encourage you to browse our informational course, Leak, Flow and Package Testing 101.

Some basic definitions:

Pressure decay test: An inflation test in which a non-porous package is pressurized to a preset level. After the pressure has been stabilized, the decay in pressure over a preset time is evaluated to determine if a leak is present.

Vacuum decay test. Similar to the Pressure test, except a preset vacuum is established inside the package, and the decay in the vacuum is evaluated to determine if a leak is present.

Non-destructive testing: Using specific instruments and fixtures, either pressure or vacuum testing can be conducted on non-porous packages without the product lose that accompanies destructive leak testing.

Inflation Seal Strength Testers

Inflation seal strength testing includes burst, creep and creep-to-failure testing. Inflation tests are applicable to most materials (porous and non-porous) and most package forms such as pouches, header bags, lidded trays, flexible or rigid blisters and laminated or rolled tubes. The TM Electronics BTIntegra-Pack provides graphs of individual tests of your products. The pressure at which the package bursts is a variable statistic that can be utilized to document process development and process control through the use of tools such as upper and lower control limits, all part of the statistics package that is standard on the TME BT Integra-Pack.

Inflation Package Integrity (Leak) Testers

Package integrity testing is purely a measure of the package’s sterile barrier – a “leak test” of the whole package. Pressure decay testing is very effective in determining leaks in flexible packages that have non-porous material surfaces and seals. The TM Electronics BT Integra-Pack, which is capable of performing both seal strength and package leak tests, has a resolution of 0.001psi. The TME SOLUTION© leak test instrument can be configured to do a leak test of a package with a resolution as high as 0.0001 psi.

Non-Destructive Package Testers

The Closed Chamber Test Method provides fast, non-destructive testing of sealed flexible packages. The TME SOLUTION-C Test System is comprised of the TME Solution™ leak test instrument and a chamber fixture custom designed for your package. The chamber fixture enclosing your package is pressurized (or evacuated for a vacuum test), stabilized and tested for pressure (or vacuum) decay that would indicate leakage from the test item.

Restraining Plate Package Testing

Seal strength values are related to the package size, geometry, and materials. For example, pouches with a long side seal will generally fail on the long seal unless a heater failure has occurred on the shorter seal or chevron. Unsupported tray lid seals may fail at points only relative to their geometry. Very flexible package materials may deform with pressurization to an extent that makes seal testing difficult. To address these problems, it may be advisable to use restraining plates for your inflation testing. Restraining plate fixtures are available from TM Electronics designed to accommodate different sizes of package.


Introduction to Package Testers

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