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Face Mask Testing in India

Updated: May 23, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic has shaken the entire world and brings about many changes in our day to day life. Surgical face masks have become the new necessity. However, it’s very important that these surgical face masks provide us adequate safety against the Corona Virus. To ensure the adequate safety of a number of Test are performed. These tests check the face masks, surgical masks, KN95 Masks and N95 Masks for their efficient protection, some of the main tests include:


1. Bacteria Filtration Efficiency Test:

Bacterial Filtration Efficiency Test as per ASTM F 2101 is same as the Indian Standard IS-16288 Bacterial Efficiency Test. In this test a fine Aerosol containing Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria is exposed on the surface of Face/ Surgical Mask through a column made of glass/ stainless steel at 28.3 liters per minute. The air passing through the face mask is collected on Agar Plates in a 6 stage Anderson Impactor and percentage of bacteria is analyzed to determine if the mask is offering adequate filtration.

2. Particle Filtration Efficiency:

Particle Filtration Efficiency Test is performed as per standard ASTM F2299.


This test is also known as Latex Particle Challenge Test, in this test a fine aerosol containing polystyrene microspheres is exposed on the surface of Face/ Sugica Masks. A sophisticated particle counter is used to determine the particles passin


g through the masks to ensure that the face mask is offering the adequate particle filtration as per its category.

3. Synthetic Blood Penetration Test or Splash Resistance Test:

Synthetic Blood Penetration Test as


per ASTM F1862 also knowing as Splash Resistance Test as per IS 16289 is performed to determine the resistance offered by Face Mask and Surgical Masks against Splash of blood. The face masks are splashed with synthetic blood at a pressure equivalent to human blood pressure to test if the blood can penetrate through the face mask. The result of this test is passed if the splash of synthetic blood can not penetrate to the other side of face mask.

4. Air Permeability Test or Differential Pressure Test:

The Differential pressure test is performed as per


the standard IS 16289. The face mask is challenged by air pressure in a cell and difference is measured to determine how much air permeates through the face mask.

5. Flammability Test:

The Flammability Test is performed as per standard 16 CFR. As many users of face mask may be working in environments prone to fire it is required to test the face masks for its flammability. The masks are set on fire and de

pending on time it takes to catch the fire/ burn the masks are classified for flammability.

Many laboratories in India like INMAS (DRDO testing Lab), BIS, NITRA and SITRA already have testing faci


lities for testing face masks. Many new labs are coming up and many more will be required considering the number of companies getting into manufacturing of face masks in India.


Contact Us for more details on any of these Tests/Equipment ahujatech@yahoo.com





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