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Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE)

The Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE) test evaluates the nonviable particle retention or filtration efficiency of filter media and other filtration devices at sub-micron levels. This test is performed on face masks and all filter material that allows 1 cubic foot per minute (CFM) flow to pass through it.

Also referred to as Latex Particle Challenge, this test is required for ASTM F2100 and is performed according to the ASTM F2100 and follows the basic principle of ASTM F2299. Nelson Labs offers a high level of expertise in PFE testing and is one of the only companies to offer this test. In addition, Nelson Labs can perform all ASTM F2100 testing needed.

Applicable Standards

  • ASTM F2100
  • ASTM F2299

Testing Locations

Study Outline

In Particle Filtration Efficiency testing, the filtration efficiency of filter media materials against sub-micron particles cannot be determined using viable challenge particles. This procedure involves the generation of a particle aerosol using NIST traceable polystyrene microspheres with a Particle Measurement Systems (PMS) Model PG-100 particle generator. The particles are counted with a PMS Model LASAIR II-110 or 310 laser particle counter.

The latex particles used in this procedure have a narrow standard deviation and the design of the PMS particle generator produces a consistent particle challenge. Testing is conducted at a single particle size. Nelson Labs has the capability to perform the testing at 0.1µm, 0.3µm, 0.5µm and 1.0µm. ASTM F2100 specifies a challenge particle size of 0.1µm. The PMS particle counter is an optical laser based device and operates at a flow rate of 1 cubic foot per minute (CFM) or 28.3 liters per minute (LPM).

If you have additional questions about Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE) testing, or would like to consult with the experts at Nelson Labs, just send us a request or call us at +1 (801) 290-7500.