SKZ: Testing of respiratory masks
The accredited test laboratory at SKZ has procured a machine for testing respiratory masks (FFP 1, FFP 2 and FFP 3), which will be available by the end of May 2020. This test device makes it possible to carry out a number of the most important tests, such as inhalation and exhalation resistance and passage of particles through filter masks.
Due to the corona crisis, there is currently a very high demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), e.g. respirators. “As advised by the EU Commission, in the context of the health threat caused by COVID 19 the market surveillance authorities may define simplified procedures for the procurement of so-called corona pandemic respiratory masks. By means of a fast track procedure, technically suitable masks shall be approved for provision," explains Dr. Jürgen Wüst, deputy managing director of SKZ-Testing.
An automatic testing machine has been ordered that is to carry out a number of important tests out of a reduced corona pandemic respiratory masks test programme. The masks' particle permeability, for example, can be checked by the machine using paraffin oil mist, a so-called paraffin aerosol. By atomizing paraffin oil, an aerosol of paraffin oil droplets is generated with defined particle size distribution. The concentration of the aerosol is measured at each side of the tested filter. The lower the permeability of the filter masks, the higher their protective effect.
SKZ says it is in a position to carry out initial tests of protective masks as well as quality tests on incoming deliveries. The SKZ test laboratory will also advise customers with inquiries regarding the testing of personal protective equipment, such as gloves, coats or face protection. As early as the beginning of April, the SKZ in Würzburg was classified as systemically important by the authorities because, among other things, numerous indispensable product tests are carried out here for the health, hygiene and infrastructural sectors.