Operational procedures inline with ISO 16232:2018 and VDA19 to establish a Component Cleanliness Code (CCC) for the item being assessed and can be reported per surface area (A), volume (V) or component (n). The facility has a range of extraction techniques at its disposal to suit individual requirements from flushing, spraying, flow bench, agitation, aeration, pressure pulsation and ultrasonic. The washed component fluid is filtered through an ultrafine membrane where the particle contamination is collected on the surface for later quantification. The extraction process is completed using the decay curve method where repeated samples are taken to validate the method and that process parameters are suitable for the component under test.
Evaluation techniques are defined by customer preference or the level of cleanliness required and consist of, gravimetric analysis of the collected particles on the membrane, online optical particle counting or membrane analysis using a traversing microscope and software analysis program for automated particle sizing, counting and shape analysis. Basic determination of metallic and non-metallic particles are assessed using a polarized light source.
A rigorous quality control system is implemented within the laboratory which maintains an ISO Class 6 cleanroom standard with additional HEPA and ULPA filtration systems for enclosed ultraclean extraction and analysis projects. Flushing and cleaning fluids are continually monitored for purity and cleanliness through a monitored filtration system and FTIR spectrometry.
Due to the similarity of ISO 16232 (for component assessment) and ISO 4406 (for fluid assessment), both standards can be accommodated.