ASTM F1929 - 12

    Standard Test Method for Detecting Seal Leaks in Porous Medical Packaging by Dye Penetration

    Active Standard ASTM F1929 | Developed by Subcommittee: F02.40

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.10


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 Harmful biological or particulate contaminants may enter the medical package through leaks. These leaks are frequently found at seals between package components of the same or dissimilar materials. Leaks may also result from a pinhole in the packaging material.

    4.2 It is the objective of this test method to visually observe the presence of channel defects by the leakage of dye through them.

    4.3 This dye penetrant procedure is applicable only to individual leaks in a package seal. The presence of a number of small leaks, as found in porous packaging material, which could be detected by other techniques, will not be indicated.

    4.4 There is no general agreement concerning the level of leakage that is likely to be deleterious to a particular package. However, since these tests are designed to detect leaks, components that exhibit any indication of leakage are normally rejected.

    4.5 These procedures are suitable to verify and locate leakage sites. They are not quantitative. No indication of leak size can be inferred from these tests. The methods are usually employed as a pass/fail test.

    4.6 The dye solution will wick through any porous material over time, but usually not within the maximum time suggested. If wicking does occur, it may be verified by observing the porous side of the subject seal area. The dye will have discolored the surface of the material. Refer to Appendix X1 for details on wicking and guidance on the observance of false positives.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method defines materials and procedures that will detect and locate a leak equal to or greater than a channel formed by a 50 µm (0.002 in.) wire in package edge seals formed between a transparent material and a porous sheet material. A dye penetrant solution is applied locally to the seal edge to be tested for leaks. After contact with the dye penetrant for a specified time, the package is visually inspected for dye penetration.

    1.2 Three dye application methods are covered in this test method: injection, edge dip, and eyedropper.

    1.3 These test methods are intended for use on packages with edge seals formed between a transparent material and a porous sheet material. The test methods are limited to porous materials which can retain the dye penetrant solution and prevent it from discoloring the seal area for a minimum of 5 seconds. Uncoated papers are especially susceptible to leakage and must be evaluated carefully for use with each test method.

    1.4 These test methods require that the dye penetrant solution have good contrast to the opaque packaging material.

    1.5 The values are stated in International System of Units (SI units) and English units. Either is to be regarded as standard.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    F17 Terminology Relating to Flexible Barrier Packaging

    ANSI Standards

    Z1.4 Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 55.040 (Packaging materials and accessories)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/F1929-12

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