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C14 GLASS AND GLASS PRODUCTS C21 CERAMIC WHITEWARES AND RELATED PRODUCTS D01 PAINT AND RELATED COATINGS, MATERIALS, AND APPLICATIONS D06 PAPER AND PAPER PRODUCTS D09 ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC INSULATING MATERIALS D10 PACKAGING D11 RUBBER D12 SOAPS AND OTHER DETERGENTS D13 TEXTILES D14 ADHESIVES D15 ENGINE COOLANTS AND RELATED FLUIDS D20 PLASTICS D21 POLISHES D31 LEATHER E12 COLOR AND APPEARANCE E18 SENSORY EVALUATION E20 TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT E35 PESTICIDES, ANTIMICROBIALS, AND ALTERNATIVE CONTROL AGENTS E41 LABORATORY APPARATUS E53 ASSET MANAGEMENT E57 3D IMAGING SYSTEMS F02 FLEXIBLE BARRIER PACKAGING F05 BUSINESS IMAGING PRODUCTS F06 RESILIENT FLOOR COVERINGS F08 SPORTS EQUIPMENT, PLAYING SURFACES, AND FACILITIES F09 TIRES F10 LIVESTOCK, MEAT, AND POULTRY EVALUATION SYSTEMS F11 VACUUM CLEANERS F13 PEDESTRIAN/WALKWAY SAFETY AND FOOTWEAR F14 FENCES F15 CONSUMER PRODUCTS F16 FASTENERS F24 AMUSEMENT RIDES AND DEVICES F26 FOOD SERVICE EQUIPMENT F27 SNOW SKIING F37 LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT F43 LANGUAGE SERVICES AND PRODUCTS F44 GENERAL AVIATION AIRCRAFT D10 PACKAGING D11 RUBBER E31 HEALTHCARE INFORMATICS E35 PESTICIDES, ANTIMICROBIALS, AND ALTERNATIVE CONTROL AGENTS E54 HOMELAND SECURITY APPLICATIONS E55 MANUFACTURE OF PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS E56 NANOTECHNOLOGY F02 FLEXIBLE BARRIER PACKAGING F04 MEDICAL AND SURGICAL MATERIALS AND DEVICES F29 ANESTHETIC AND RESPIRATORY EQUIPMENT F30 EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES G04 COMPATIBILITY AND SENSITIVITY OF MATERIALS IN OXYGEN ENRICHED ATMOSPHERES
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Airborne Ultrasound

Proper packaging procedures are an important aspect of any industry. Now ASTM International Committee F02 on Flexible Barrier Packaging has developed a new standard for a relatively new packing technology, airborne ultrasound. F3004, Test Method for Evaluation of Seal Quality and Integrity Using Airborne Ultrasound, was developed by Subcommittee F02.40 on Package Integrity.

“Airborne ultrasound has been on the market for over a decade now and has a very specific niche in the flexible packaging industry,” says Oliver Stauffer, chief operating officer, PTI Inspection Systems, and an F02 member. “It is one of the few solutions that nondestructively measures the physical integrity and quality of a flexible packaging seal.”

According to Stauffer, medical device packaging requires a high level of seal integrity assurance. Typically, device manufacturers have used manual-visual inspection as the preferred test for porous barrier packaging. However, airborne ultrasound offers a faster and more reliable assessment of package seal quality based on a quantitative measure.

“Any flexible packaging operation that applies a final seal to a pouch can deploy an airborne ultrasound sensor on the line for high speed 100 percent seal quality assurance,” says Stauffer.

Airborne ultrasound sensors can be integrated into production lines or a stand-alone system can be installed just after a seal station to confirm seal quality. The technology described in F3004 is used to image seals and evaluate variances across the entire active seal area to ensure even temperature and pressure distribution during the sealing process.

Stauffer says that manufacturers, regulatory bodies and laboratories will all find F3004 useful, especially as the shift is being made toward more quantitative test measurement solutions, particularly in the medical device industry.

All interested parties are invited to take part in the standards developing activities of F02.40. “F3004 may be further developed as sensory capabilities improve,” says Stauffer. “There are other measurement capabilities that the standard has yet to explore. As F3004 currently stands, it provides a huge stepping stone for those looking to provide nondestructive seal quality assurance.”

To purchase ASTM standards, visit www.astm.org and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Sales (phone: 877-909-ASTM; sales@astm.org).

CONTACT Technical Information: Oliver Stauffer, PTI/Packaging Technolgies and Inspection • Tuckahoe, NY • Phone: 914-337-2005 • | ASTM Staff: Diane Trinsey • Phone: 610-832-9661 | Upcoming Meeting: April 7-9 • East Lansing, Mich.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.