Standard Active Last Updated: Jun 15, 2022
ASTM F1977-22

Standard Test Method for Determining Initial, Fractional, Filtration Efficiency of a Vacuum Cleaner System

Significance and Use

5.1 It is well known that modern electrical appliances, incorporating electric motors that use carbon brushes for commutation, may emit aerosolized, particles into the surrounding environment. This test method determines the initial, fractional, filtration efficiency of a vacuum cleaner system, taking those emissions into consideration.

5.2 For all vacuum cleaner systems tested, the total emissions of the unit, whatever the source(s), will be counted at each of the six particle size levels identified in the test procedure. This test method determines the initial, fractional filtration efficiency of a vacuum cleaner system, with or without the motor emissions mathematically removed in the calculation of efficiency.


1.1 This test method may be used to determine the initial, fractional, filtration efficiency of household and commercial canister (tank-type), stick, hand-held, upright, and utility vacuum cleaner systems.

1.1.1 Water-filtration vacuum cleaners which do not utilize a replaceable dry media filter located between the water-based filter and cleaning air exhaust are not included in this test method. It has been determined that the exhaust of these vacuum cleaners is not compatible with the specified discrete particle counter (DPC) procedure.

1.2 The initial, fractional, filtration efficiencies of the entire vacuum cleaner system, at six discrete particle sizes (0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0, 2.0, and >3 μm), is derived by counting upstream challenge particles and the constituent of downstream particles while the vacuum cleaner system is being operated in a stationary test condition.

1.3 The vacuum cleaner system is tested either at the floor nozzle, the end of the hose (handle), or at the vacuum cleaner inlet (for handheld products) at the normal airflow rate.

1.4 The vacuum cleaner system is tested with a new filter(s) installed, and with no preliminary dust loading. The fractional efficiencies determined by this test method shall be considered initial system filtration efficiencies.

1.5 Neutralized potassium chloride (KCl) is used as the challenge media in this test method.

1.6 One or two particle counters may be used to satisfy the requirements of this test method. If using one counter, flow control is required to switch between sampling the upstream and downstream air sampling probes.

1.7 To efficiently utilize this test method, automated test equipment and computer data acquisition is recommended.

1.8 Different sampling parameters, flow rates, and so forth, for the specific applications of the equipment and test procedure may provide equivalent results. It is beyond the scope of this test method to define those various possibilities.

1.9 This test method is limited to the test apparatus, or its equivalent, as described in this document.

1.10 This test method is not intended or designed to provide any measure of the health effects or medical aspects of vacuum cleaning.

1.11 This test method is not intended or designed to determine the integrity of HEPA filtration assemblies used in vacuum cleaner systems employed in nuclear and defense facilities.

1.12 The inch-pound system of units is used in this test method, except for the common usage of the micrometer, μm, for the description of particle size which is a SI unit.

1.13 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.

1.14 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 15.11
Developed by Subcommittee: F11.23
Pages: 18
DOI: 10.1520/F1977-22
ICS Code: 97.080