How our measurement laboratory for FFP2 masks ensures the health of our customers

As a manufacturer of medical health protection articles we naturally do not rely only on our latest and most innovative production machines, our sophisticated processes and the high quality raw materials, which we check in regular intervals by expert personnel.

Beyond these factors, it is very important to us that a high quality inspection of the finished products takes place. This is done by us in regular cycles and according to precise and methodical examinations. We therefore perform very accurate, with routine experience and full measurements under modern standards.

In order to always obtain invariably reliable results we have set up a test bench. For our FFP2 masks for example, we carry out accurate and precise measurements according the specifications by the official authorities.

In this article, we would like to describe why these measurements are so highly valued on our part, what equipment we use for this purpose and why these protective measures and quality standards are a supporting pillar of our company.

Quality & protective measures at PPE Germany

We recently reported already on our quality management. As a manufacturer in the healthcare sector we see a great need to show quite transparently how we work and for what values we stand for. At the same time we naturally want to record our efforts not only in writing. Through certifications according to high national and international standards by experienced and independent third parties at regular intervals, we have a tuned system that not only fulfills standards in several areas, but also exceeds qualitative requirements by far.

We naturally want to reinforce the standards we set for ourselves in our choice of partners. So we promote quality not only within our company, but also across our entire supply chain.

We look very closely at the entire cycle of our creation from a holistic perspective. Of course, this holistic approach can only be considered responsible if we also carry out an accurate follow-up inspection of the manufactured products.

Therefore, it is obvious not only to use the latest generations of machinery for production and to promote the most tolerable processes within our company and with our partners, but also to permanently examine the quality of our products. We owe high standards of excellent quality not only to our own demands, but also to our customers.

The manufacturer of our FFP2 mask test bench: Palas.

When it comes to measuring protective FFP2 masks, we naturally rely on the experts in aerosol technology, Palas GmbH based in Karlsruhe. This company manufactures entirely in Germany and is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-precision equipment for generating, measuring and characterizing particles in the air.

To be precise: Palas is the market leader in the development and production of filter test stands and optical aerosol spectrometers. We share with Palas the mindset of working under the highest quality standards and the desire to manufacture precision down to the smallest detail. Therefore, it is obvious for us to use a complete test bench of the market leader in order to obtain accurate results without exception.

We are extremely pleased that Palas is also committed to environmental protection, equal opportunities and respect as well as employee dialogue, safety in the workplace, corruption prevention and human rights.

Our Palas test bench: Palas PMFT 1000

For our FFP2 mask test bench we use the modern Palas PMFT 1000 system, which is brand new on the market and was developed for current standards. This system is used to determine the permeability of particles to a protective mask.

Our modern state-of-the-art test bench has an accurate efficiency measurement in the range of 100 nm to 40 µm. In addition, the virus size range (120 nm -160 nm) is also cleanly covered. Our system can therefore accurately analyze that the filter mask efficiency also covers SARS-CoV-2 and provides protection for all our customers.

In addition, our test bench naturally also meets the stringent requirements for respirators specified by the CCF (Covid Cerified Filter) quality seal.

The advantages of the PMFT 1000 are as follows:

  • Functioning of the test bench better than EN 143, EN 149 and EN 13274-7

  • Equivalent to GB 2626, 42 CFR 84 and ASTM 2299-3 via additional software option

  • Tests everyday masks according to CWA 17553

  • Meets requirements for CCF (Covid Certified Filter) quality seal

  • Supplied with two aerosol generators for NaCL and OIL

  • Fractional efficiency testing, e.g. efficiency over the entire size range from 100 nm to 40 µm

  • Accurate analysis of filter and filter mask efficiency for SARS-CoV-2 (size approx. 120 nm to 160 nm) in the size range between 100 nm and 180 nm we have 8 size channels

  • Future-proof: works with any type of aerosol without adjustments

  • Further measurement of the differential pressure, e.g. also at different incident flow velocities to simulate the measurement of the breathing resistance

  • Face velocity adjustable between 1.5 - 70 cm/s

  • Product with fast quality assurance AND continuous optimization in R&D (display of size distribution)

For more information please visit the official Palas homepage or the product page of our state-of-the-art PMFT 1000 system.

Performance and Execution of measurements at PPE Germany

The standard requires testing of the total separation efficiency. The system of the market leader can even do much more than the official regulation specifies. Therefore, this test system includes a high-resolution aerosol spectrometer. This can additionally determine exactly which particle sizes penetrate a mask and to what percentage.

For this purpose, a test aerosol is fed into the Palas PLG 1000 connected to our Palas PMFT 1000. The test aerosol can be, for example, paraffin oil or salt. It is introduced through the PLG 1000 into the test channel of the PMFT 1000. The aerosol spectrometer then measures everything accurately in terms of size and concentration. Therefore, a measurement takes place without a mask in order to determine a current basic value, which is put into dependence after measurement with a filtering mask.

In the subsequent FFP2 mask test, our experts insert the mask into the device. We would like to emphasize that for our Palas test bench we naturally use an individual face mask adapter from Palas itself, which is precisely tailored to our products. This detail is important to ensure an accurate measurement. So in this second step, we measure which particles penetrate the mask.

The precise and computer-controlled analysis provides accurate information about the efficiency of our products.

Conclusion

We are pleased to not only use the latest machinery to manufacture our products, but also to have a state-of-the-art test bench that completely closes the loop on our quality.

It is an outstanding system that is not only suitable for testing masks produced for reliable protection against SARS-CoV-2, but also allows accurate measurements of other exceptional viruses.

Our PMFT 1000 test stand is much more than a mask tester. Rather, it is a high-performance particle counting, sizing and analysis system with exceptional measurement capabilities.

This is one of the reasons why we have chosen this modern system from the market leader. To know holistically that our products continue to meet our high quality requirements and that all our customers are still protected by using our products.