Ammonia leak cloth works on the principle that the cloth will turn from yellow-orange to blue in the presence of a very small amount of ammonia gas. To test equipment such as pharmaceutical isolators a small dish of liquid ammonia is placed inside the isolator which is then pressurized. The ammonia leak detector cloth is placed at any suspect seal point such that if ammonia “leaks” through the seal the cloth will turn blue at that point.
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Ammonia leak cloth is an excellent choice for conducting leak tests. Ammonia gas is a very small molecule that disperses easily and can pass through very small gaps or holes. Liquid ammonia is readily available, inexpensive, and easy to clean up very little is needed to run the test. The indicator chemicals in the cloth are very sensitive to the ammonia gas. An added benefit is that the leak cloth will revert back to the original yellow-orange color once it is removed from the ammonia source..
Midcalf, Brian. Pharmaceutical Isolators: A Guide to Their Application, Design, and Control. Pharmaceutical Press (2004)
Coles, Tim. Isolation Technology: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition. CRC Press (2004)
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