ASTM F2638 - 18

    Standard Test Method for Using Aerosol Filtration for Measuring the Performance of Porous Packaging Materials as a Surrogate Microbial Barrier

    Active Standard ASTM F2638 | Developed by Subcommittee: F02.15

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.10


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    Significance and Use

    6.1 This test method has been developed as a result of research performed by Air Dispersion Limited (Manchester, UK) and funded by the Barrier Test Consortium Limited. The results of this research have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.4 This research demonstrated that testing the barrier performance of porous packaging materials using microorganisms correlates with measuring the filtration efficiency of the materials.

    6.2 This test method does not require the use of microbiological method; in addition, the test method can be conducted in a rapid and timely manner.

    6.3 When measuring the filtration efficiency of porous packaging materials a typical filtration efficiency curve is determined (see Fig. 1). Since the arc of these curves is dependent upon the characteristics of each individual material, the appropriate way to make comparison among materials is using the parameter that measures maximum penetration through the material.

    FIG. 1 A Typical Curve Showing Penetration as a Function of Flow Rate

    A Typical Curve Showing Penetration as a Function of
 Flow RateA Typical Curve Showing Penetration as a Function of
 Flow Rate

    Note 1: The point of maximum penetration is indicated by the upward pointing triangle.

    6.4 The particle filtration method is a quantitative procedure for determining the microbial barrier properties of materials using a challenge of 1.0 µm particles over range of pressure differentials from near zero to approximately 30 cm water column (WC) (2942 Pa). This test method is based upon the research of Tallentire and Sinclair4 and uses physical test methodology to allow for a rapid determination of microbial barrier performance.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method measures the aerosol filtration performance of porous packaging materials by creating a defined aerosol of 1.0 μm particles and assessing the filtration efficiency of the material using either single or dual particle counters.

    1.2 This test method is applicable to porous materials used to package terminally sterilized medical devices.

    1.3 The intent of this test apparatus is to determine the flow rate through a material at which maximum penetration occurs.

    1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.5 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    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

    E171/E171M Practice for Conditioning and Testing Flexible Barrier Packaging

    E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 55.040 (Packaging materials and accessories)

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

    DOI: 10.1520/F2638-18

    Citation Format

    ASTM F2638-18, Standard Test Method for Using Aerosol Filtration for Measuring the Performance of Porous Packaging Materials as a Surrogate Microbial Barrier, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2018, www.astm.org

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