ASTM F3039 Detecting Leaks in Nonporous Packaging by Dye Penetration

ASTM F3039 test method is used for detecting leaks in non-porous packaging for flexible barrier materials by dye penetra tion. This qualitative test is designed to verify and locate leaking sites in Flexible Barrier Materials and can be used for both transparent and opaque non-porous surfaces.... Read More

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    The standard test method, Detecting Leaks in Nonporous Packaging or Flexible Barrier Materials by Dye Penetration ASTM F3039, detects channel leaks through the seals of flexible barriers. This test is designed to detect leakage, components that exhibit any indication of leakage are rejected. This test does not measure the size of any channel leak found. Therefore, the results of the F3039 testing standard are qualitative only.

    Test Procedure:

    In ASTM F3039, according to method A for this test, a dye penetrant solution is applied locally to the seal edge to be tested for leaks. After contact with the dye penetrant for a minimum specified time, the package is visually inspected for dye penetration or, preferably, the seal edge is placed against an absorbent surface and the surface inspected for staining from the dye.

    According to method B for this test, the flat sheet is placed on an absorbent surface and then a dye penetrant is spread across the surface of the sheet, preferably using a small roller to apply pressure on the sheet to ensure adequate contact between the adsorbent surface and the bottom surface of the sample being tested. The flat sheet is carefully removed and the absorbent surface is inspected for staining from the dye.

     Specimen size:

    ASTM F3039, method A detects and locates a leak equal to or greater than a channel formed by a 50 μm [0.002 inch] wire in the edge seals of a nonporous package. 

    Method B detects and locates a leak equal to or greater than 10 μm [0.00039 inch] diameter in a nonporous flat sheet. 


    Leak detection is reported in SI unit or inch pounds and is considered as standard separately. No indication of leak size can be inferred from the test and is qualitative only.


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