Testing Packaging Pinhole Leaks Integrity

In today’s world, packaging integrity serves the highest purpose for any food or drug company. If they are unable to deliver their products safely without tampering to the public then they would not be able to sell anything. Consumers demand that their food and drugs must be guaranteed fresh, safe, and cost effective. Companies place the highest regard to the safety and integrity of their products packaging but in today’s changing environment this can be quite challenging. This is where Lenox Laser has the expertise and knowledge to help companies create standards that can be used to help test their packaging even in a production line.

Lenox Laser, Inc. has the unique ability to drill precise repeatable critical flow orifices in glass, vials, ampoules, lids, pouches, cans, containers, blister packs, skin packs, vacuumed sealed packs, bottle capping and advanced types of primary packaging for use in testing and a production environment. Our critical flow orifices can be drilled directly into your product’s packaging often allowing the company to replace expensive testing equipment ultimately saving thousands of dollars while increasing product safety. We also specialize in controlling product atmosphere’s flow rate using our orifice technologies and calculators. We can also help develop package integrity and tamper resistant technologies that can alert the consumer if the product has been compromised. Lenox Laser is ale to drill micro holes down to the half micron which allows the smallest of flow rates that can be used to test the seals of your package. Often customers use several of our drilled products to test their products packaging while they are being packaged which saves time, energy, and money while increasing quality.
Our orifices can help with both destructive and non-destructive packaging testing for whatever application you may need. Our orifces are often used in vaccum/pressure decay testing and direct gas leak detection testing methods where flow control and detection is critical down to the smallest micron. Our small calibrated orifices can also be used to detect if there are any leaks in the seal. The quality of the packaging integrity is only as good as the strength of its seal which is often the hardest to test. Using our pinhole detection technologies, manufacturers can easily test their packages for pinholes down to the half micron thus detecting microbial barrier’s to the smallest possible- as noted below the smaller the hole the harder for your packages integrity to be comprised.

Recent research, such as Earl Hackett’s study explained in “How Pinholes Affect Packaging” in the July 2000 issue of PMP News, indicates that in flexible packages with breathable barrier materials, the nature of flow and the mobility of bacteria may in fact make penetration difficult with holes up to 50 µm. (According to Hackett, the data showed that essentially all particles that entered the hole exited on the far side. The flow through the entire package was split between the hole and the Tyvek or paper. The number of particles detected coming through the 100-mm diameter sample of barrier material was statistically the same with or without the hole until the hole reached a minimum diameter of 50 µm.)

Please E-mail drawings with hole size or flow rate with specific gas and up/down
stream pressures, we can calibrate your online production packaging equipment.
E-mail- quotes@lenoxlaser.com or call 410-592-3106 for more information.

Also for more information please visit –

Using pinholes as tools to attain optimum modified atmospheres in packages of fresh produce
Industrial Sterilization

Side Vent Applications and Products

Lenox Laser has specialized in drilling microhole side vents for a wide variety of applications serving several markets. Some of the major products that use these vents include arterial syringe side vents, hydrogen release caps, vented containers, advanced plastic bags, catheters, suction canisters, ventilation, and hydrostatic vents. These side vents are commonly used in medical, biotechnology, chemical processing, and flow control applications.

Some of the side venting jobs that we have performed in the past –

  • MEMS application for micro vents used in semiconductors.
  • Cryogenic liquids application -a side vent in the transfer tube for increase in liquid transfer.
  • Medical application-a side vent in glass ,metal or plastic for micro management of liquid and gas.
  • Calibrated packaging leak testing -equalizing contents pressure without compromising integrity.

Lenox Laser can drill micro side vents in various sizes ranging from 1 to 1000 microns in a wide variety of materials including metals, glasses, and plastics for any application. We can either drill in an existing part or material or we can help you design an advanced system for your side venting applications. Our engineers are here to research, design, fabricate, and drill advanced components to help solve any problem.

Lenox Laser, Inc. new equipment and process development has made these products readily available to many industries for packaging integrity testing and calibration with NIST traceability.

New Breakthroughs in Metallic Glass and Laser Glass Drilling

In Live Science, there is a new article entitled “Bizarre Properties of Glass Revealed”. It is about the new “breakthrough discovery in the bizarre properties of glass, which behaves at times like both a solid and a liquid.” The article can be found at http://www.livescience.com/technology/080623-glass-wings.html

Royall said, “knowing the structure formed by atoms as a glass cools represents a major breakthrough in the understanding of meta-stable materials and will allow further development of new strong yet light materials called metallic glasses. This stuff is generally shiny black in color, not transparent, due to having a lot of free electrons (think of mercury in an old thermometer).”

Lenox Laser, Inc. has also been a pioneer in developing advancements in glass processing. Our engineers were some of the first to successfully drill microholes in different types of glass accurately. Lenox Laser will also be a pioneer in the new field of metallic glasses that are currently being developed. These new glass types, mixed with exotic metals and materials, can revolutionize the optical, medical, biotechnology, space, semiconductor processing and scientific fields. Lenox Laser will be at the forefront of drilling the smallest microholes, apertures, orifices and arrays into these materials without the known risks of glass.

Lenox Laser is the premier microhole, aperture, and orifice glass driller in the industry. Our engineers can produce an aperture/orifice down to 5 microns. We mainly process the industry standard borosilicate glass, including the popular D263, but we have also processed quartz/fused silica, Pyrex variations, and soda-lime glasses. We specialize in drilling medical syringes, ampules, and vials for sophisticated leak detection systems, as well as drilling complex custom arrays in a variety of glass substrates. In addition, we have a complete line of standard glass products. Our list of customers includes many of the most recognizable names in the world, including government, university and private sector clients.

Free Online Critical Flow Orifice Calculator

Lenox Laser has been a pioneer and a leader in the critical flow orifice field for over 20 years. Customers have had orifices custom sized, drilled, and calibrated for them in various flow components in order to meet complicated and critical needs. We are able to eliminate the need for expensive and complicated mass flow controllers with our easy to use, inline, consistent, and cost-effective orifice technologies. A Lenox Laser calibrated orifice will produce consistent and repeatable flow rates of gas and liquids time and time again.

Lenox Laser has also created easy to use Orifice Sizing Calculator which has aided thousands of customers determine their orifice size for their flow control application. The calculator uses our flow control mathematics formulas which can be found in detail here. Our free online calculator can determine an orifice size using the following input values:

Inlet Pressure – PSIA, PSIG, Inches Mercury Absolute, Inches Water Absolute, Barr, Torr, Atmosphere, Kilopascals

Outlet Pressure – PSIA, PSIG, Inches Mercury Absolute, Inches Water Absolute, Barr, Torr, Atmosphere, Kilopascals

Gas Type – Air, Acetylene, Ammonia, Argon, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Ethylene, Helium, Hexahydrochloride, Hydrochloric Acid, Hydrogen, Methane, Methyl Chloride, Nitrogen, Nitric Oxide, Nitrous Oxide, Oxygen, Sulfur Dioxide

Temperature – Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin

Flow Rate – std cubic cm/sec, std cubic cm/min, std cubic cm/hr, std cubic ft/sec, std cubic ft/min, std cubic ft/hr, std gal/sec, std gal/min, std gal/hr, std liters/sec, std liters/min, std liters/hr, std pounds/sec, std pounds/min, std pounds/hr, std grams/sec, std grams/min, std grams/hr

Hole Units – Microns, Inches

The calculator will then display the appropriate hole size which Lenox Laser will be able to drill, calibrate, and certify your flow rate for your specific application in almsot any type of disc, VCR Gasket, Gland, Conflat, Barb/Luer, Nipple, Set/Hex Screws, and High Pressure or High Temperature Tubing. Custom parts and materials are also available for drilling with a setup fee.

Small Hole Applications

The small hole, orifice or aperture is the key element of any device or instrument designed to control or measure the flow rate of a gas or liquid. In the recent past, the gasoline piston engine went through a transition that improved performance and reliability. Precision made small holes brought to life the fuel-injection process, an important technology that has superseded the carburetor. For general applications, precision, fixed control of gas flow rate is made possible through placement of a small hole in the flow passage. Under fixed positive pressure conditions, the small hole becomes the flow rate calibration device. In the area of high vacuum helium leak detector calibration devices, the small holes provides the calibrated leak rate.

Semiconductor Integrated circuits and other semiconductor devices are the foundation of today’s electronics industry. The development and production of semiconductor devices and manufacturing equipment bases heavily on ion or molecular beam processing technology. Ion beam drilling devices require the use of small, precise holes for beam forming.

Optical from early days, optics used small holes to illustrate the wave property of light. An annular diffraction pattern of interference fringes may be observed from the passage of light through a small hole. Small holes provide important functions in optical transfer assemblies. They provide the means for beam alignment, spatial filtering, aperture limiting, image analysis, and image processing.

Electron Beam, a mask containing an array of small holes, is used to control the electron beam emission in the color television picture tube. The electron microscope uses apertures as small as 2 microns in diameter to maximize control of electron beam emissions and profiling.

The Leader in Small Hole Technology

Lenox Laser specializes in drilling very small, very precise holes in virtually any material. Our laboratories contain state-of-the-art laser machining tools which we designed and built ourselves to supply a small but vital service to American industry.

Lenox Laser’s line of optical and flow components – apertures, slits, spatial filters, arrays, and critical flow orifice components – have become the industry standard. We are the leaders in small-hole technology.

We earn our leadership by:

  • Supplying a good, dependable product that performs as promised
  • Providing our customers with all the support they need
  • Maintaining and improving the quality of our products
  • Continuous research and development to refine and expand our product line while keeping costs under control

Please give us a call or visit our website http://www.lenoxlaser.com to see what we can do for you.

Small Hole Features

Every physical object is three-dimensional. A hole is a void in a three-dimensional object and may be of any size or shape. A perfect round hole is a cylindrical surface that extends between and is normal to the front and back surface of a substrate sheet. Further, a round hole generates a circular void in the front surface and a circular void in the back surface of the substrate sheet. There are many parameters to consider when specifying or describing a hole.

For the sake of discussion, let us reflect upon the characteristics of a round hole, as described above. In the micro-dimensional real world, the absolutely perfect round hole is difficult to achieve. Thus, we must consider how the round hole may deviate from perfection. The ends of a cylinder describe flat surfaces that are a circular, parallel to each other and normal to the axis. The hole entrance and exit apertures may not be circular, they might be oval or irregular in shape.

  • If the front and back surfaces of the substrate sheet are not parallel to each other, the cross section of the hole cylinder is trapezoidal in shape.
  • If the hole is not drilled at the normal to the surface of a parallel surface substrate sheet, the cross-section of the hole cylinder describes a parallelogram.
  • If the hole entrance circle diameter is different than the hole exit circle diameter, the surface extending between them (the hole wall) is a section of a cone.

Also, the surface extending between the entrance and exit aperture may be totally irregular and may contain particles. The edges of the circular entrance and exit aperture may be beveled or rounded and may contain particles or burrs known as ablation. The descriptive geometrics of dimensioning and tolerances of a round hole include roundness or circularity, cylindrically or deviation from a perfect cylinder, perpendicularity or how much the cylindrical axis deviates from the normal to the substrate sheet surface.


Small Hole Technologies

Hole Definition

In effect, a round hole is a cylindrical surface that extends between the front and back surfaces of a substrate sheet. Recent advances in laser hole drilling techniques have provided the means to produce precision holes in the one micron diameter region that are of a higher quality than that produced by the micro drill bit.

Mechanical Drilling

For centuries, people have made holes for many applications using the mechanical drill bit. The micro machining industry has been able to serve the market for small holes of a diameter greater than 25 microns (0.00098″). The industry, however, has found it difficult and challenging to economically produce precision small holes in the range less than 25 microns in diameter. In machining, the harder materials are more difficult to work and the very hard materials are impossible to work.

Laser Drilled Holes

Laser drilling is a non-contact procedure that yields a precision, clean, round and burr-free hole with sharp edges that may be easily reproduced for mass production. In, addition, harder materials are easier to drill and control than softer materials. Materials that are impossible to machine drill, such as diamond, sapphire, ruby, and alumina, are easily worked by the laser beam. The laser drilled small hole industry is now able to economically serve the market for small holes of a diameter less than 25 microns.

This does not imply that the laser is only useful for drilling microscopic sized holes. A hole of almost any size may be laser drilled. The drilling diameter is a function of the focused beam spot size. Larger diameter laser rods yield a larger focused spot. This new industry is a separate technology field. Lenox Laser, Inc. a leader in small hole technology has through use of recent advancements in laser drilling techniques, provides precision holes as small as one micron and below that may be reliably and quickly produced in a wide variety of materials. Small holes are drilled in discs in the range of 0.002″ thickness, which are then mounted in a more massive holder for retention in the end use mechanical system.

Pinhole Sieves



Lenox Laser Pinhole Sieves can be drilled in varying shapes, sizes, patterns, and materials. Customers can submit drawings and details for a quote. Some examples can be seen at Lenox Laser Services.

PhotoSieve 011


Our pinhole sieve is an array of holes with diameters of 100 micrometers. The illumination of the detector will increase with the number of holes reducing the exposure time correspondingly. The separation between holes brings more spatial frequencies causing increase in the sharpness of the image. The specific arrangement of the pinholes causes the diffraction interference and makes the filter orientation sensitive. This property can be utilized for special effects if used with combination with polarization filter.


These pinhole sieves can be used in synchrotron’s for controlling and focusing soft x-rays, pinhole sieve photography, high-resolution X-ray microscopy and spectroscopy, Fresnel zone plate applications, telescope space based surveillance, and advanced apodization

New Family of High-Power Aperture Mounts


* Aluminum/Anodized Standard Mount
* Stainless Steel for Vacuum Applications
* Copper/Gold Electroplated for High-Power Heat Sink


This 1″ square aperture holder allows interchanging pinholes drilled in 9.5mm metal foil discs. It is ideal for use in the environments where no outgassing is permitted. The combination of the materials with different thermal conductivities extends the pinhole life under the fluencies close to the ablation threshold sometimes from minutes to days. The geometrical design is robust to the large temperature range. The threaded 8-32 mounting hole is centered on a side and can be interfaced with optical posts and stages.

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