Piping or sealed containers used to transport or hold liquid and gas will inevitably begin to leak near the end of their usable lives. Valued in fields such as industrial processing, high energy physics, and semiconductor manufacturing, vacuum leak detectors (sometimes called helium leak detectors or helium mass spectrometers) are used to generate vacuum conditions around a vessel or pipe, often temporarily filled with helium, to elicit a stronger outflow from the leak. Thus, vacuum leak detectors can detect leak outflows as small as 5×10^-12 atm cc/sec, or 0.01 mL/min (in atmospheres). A vacuum leak detector can employ a number of pumping systems, typically of the rotary vane or scroll type, achieving pressures of 10 torr or more. Although the mass spectrometers incorporated into vacuum leak detectors are usually calibrated for helium detection, portable vacuum leak detectors can be re-calibrated to detect other substances.
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