ASTM E1216 - 11(2016)

    Standard Practice for Sampling for Particulate Contamination by Tape Lift

    Active Standard ASTM E1216 | Developed by Subcommittee: E21.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.03

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    Significance and Use

    3.1 The tape lift provides a rapid and simple technique for removing particles from a surface and determining their number and size distribution.

    3.2 By using statistically determined sample size and locations, an estimate of the surface cleanliness level of large areas can be made. The user shall define the sampling plan.

    3.3 The sampling plan shall consider the importance of surface geometry and surface orientation to gas flow, gravity, obstructions, and previous history of hardware. These factors influence particle fallout and entrapment of particles on the surface. The geometry of joints, recessed areas, fasteners, and the correspondence of particle-count data to area can be maintained.

    3.4 The selection of tape and the verification of its effect on the cleanliness of the hardware is very important. The tape adhesive should have sufficient cohesion to avoid transfer of the adhesive to the surface under test. The impact of adhesive transfer should be evaluated by laboratory testing before using the tape on the hardware. Since potential for adhesive transfer exists, cleaning to remove any adhesive might be required. In addition, the tape should have low outgassing characteristics, and as a minimum, it should meet the requirements of less than 1.0 % total mass loss (TML) and 0.1 % collected volatile condensable materials (CVCM), as measured by Test Method E595.

    3.5 Care should be exercised in deciding which surfaces should be tested by this practice. The tape can remove marginally adhering paint and coatings. Optical surfaces should not be tested until verification has been made that the surface coating will not be damaged. Rough surface finishes result in low removal efficiencies. Surface finishes up to approximately 3.20 μm (125 μin.) have been tested and found to give satisfactory results.

    3.6 This practice has been tested only on surfaces at room temperature. Evaluation of temperature effects must be conducted prior to using the test on surfaces other than room temperature.

    3.7 Only personnel experienced in microscopic particle-counting techniques should be used to count and size the particles.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers procedures for sampling surfaces to determine the presence of particulate contamination, 5 μm and larger. The practice consists of the application of a pressure-sensitive tape to the surface followed by the removal of particulate contamination with the removal of the tape. The tape with the adhering particles is then mounted on counting slides. Counting and measuring of particles is done by standard techniques.

    1.2 This practice describes the materials and equipment required to perform sampling of surfaces for particle counting and sizing.

    1.3 The criteria for acceptance or rejection of a part for conformance to surface cleanliness level requirements shall be determined by the user and are not included in this practice.

    1.4 This practice is for use on surfaces that are not damaged by the application of adhesive tape. The use of this practice on any surface of any material not previously tested, or for which the susceptibility to damage is unknown, is not recommended. In general, metals, metal plating, and oxide coatings will not be damaged. Application to painted, vapor deposited, and optical coatings should be evaluated before implementing this test.

    1.5 This practice provides three methods to evaluate tape lift tests, as follows:





    Practice A—This method uses light transmitted through the tape
     and tape adhesive to detect particles that adhere to it.

    4 to 6


    Practice B—This method uses light transmitted through the tape
     adhesive after bonding to a base microscope slide, dissolving
     the tape backing, and a cover slide. The particles are embedded
     in the adhesive, and air bubbles are eliminated with acrylic
     mounting media.

    7 to 9


    Practice C—This method uses light reflected off the tape adhesive
     to detect particles that adhere to it.

    10 to 12

    1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.6.1 Exception—The inch-pound units given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.7 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

    E595 Test Method for Total Mass Loss and Collected Volatile Condensable Materials from Outgassing in a Vacuum Environment

    F312 Test Methods for Microscopical Sizing and Counting Particles from Aerospace Fluids on Membrane Filters

    Federal Standard

    Federal Standard 595 Color Available from Standardization Documents Order Desk, DODSSP, Bldg. 4, Section D, 700 Robbins Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111-5098,

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 49.040 (Coatings and related processes used in aerospace industry); 49.140 (Space systems and operations)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/E1216-11R16

    Citation Format

    ASTM E1216-11(2016), Standard Practice for Sampling for Particulate Contamination by Tape Lift, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016,

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