Burst Testing vs Peel Testing - Industrial Physics Burst Testing vs Peel Testing - Industrial Physics

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Burst Testing vs Peel Testing

Burst Testing VS Peel Testing

When you need to inspect the integrity of your medical packages. To make sure they will remain sterile during the supply chain, both burst testing and the peel test provide valuable information.

One of the purposes of the burst test and peel test are to show you how much force is required to open your package. Why is this important? If your package fails before it reaches the healthcare setting, the contents will no longer be sterile. And when you are making products that are used in operations, or delivering treatments, this could literally be a life or death issue.

Both techniques provide you with information on the strength of your package seals. Even though it may seem like either approach will serve the purpose, the difference is in the data.

But what is involved in burst testing and peel testing? What are the differences? And what are the benefits of each?

Burst test basics

In basic terms, the burst test involves pressurizing your product with air until it bursts. Using a burst pressure testing machine to highlight the weakest seal of your medical product or package using internal pressure. Then telling you the burst pressure needed to compromise – or burst – that seal.

The burst test can be used to check integrity and seal strength of medical packaging which covers products, foil pouches, and medical trays. But it’s also a great way of checking the strength of medical devices, including blood bags, catheters, or medical balloons.

The burst test monitors the pressure that is needed for a whole package to fail. And your burst testing procedure should comply with standards such as ASTM F2054 and/or ASTM F1140.

Peel testing process

The peel test also seeks to determine the strength of a medical package’s seals. It comes under the umbrella of adhesion testing.

It can be used on both porous and non-porous packages. And will determine the strength of the seal at a specific place, focusing on the bond strength of the adhesives.

While the peel test can be used to test the strength of each side of a medical package, it’s primarily used to investigate the capability of the closure seal.

You could say that it doesn’t so much look for failures in your packaging. Rather, it helps a package manufacturer to set and monitor the strength characteristics of the seals. It will tell you the force required to separate two – equivalent to the ‘opening force’ of the packaging.

It will let you know how well a package is sealed to confirm leak prevention and offer insight into sterile properties.

The peel test approach you take is factored on the standards that must be met. The peel testing standards for medical device packaging include ASTM F88 and ISO 11607-1 – which is specifically used for sterile packaging.

To burst test or to peel test?

Both the burst test and the peel test have their uses within medical device packaging. But each does a different job in determining the integrity of your packaging.

Burst test bonuses

Burst testing tests the whole of your package. It inspects all of the seals at once, quickly identifying weak areas that your peel test can miss.

When you need fast results the burst test is attractive. It’s quick to set up and you can perform lots of tests in quick succession. When you need to work out how your packages will react to the pressures of gaseous sterilization – or the transportation perils of the supply chain – it’s a sensible approach.

When burst testing, it’s important to also consider the size of the package and the position of the seals. Both of these impact how it will react. The first seal that succumbs to the pressure buildup and bursts may not be the weakest.

A frustration associated with a burst test is that it can be tricky to carry out repeatable tests between laboratories. This might be because the rate of air injection and pressure build up can vary from lab to lab. Or it may simply be down to the differences in the way the team sets up the test.

Peel test positives

Unlike the burst test, the peel test is uniformly comparable between laboratories, supported by a standards acceptance criterion.

It’s the right test to use when you need to know the strength of the seals themselves, not simply identify the weaker areas of a package. It can give you useful data on bond durability and strength, as well as the sealing consistency.

Unlike the burst test, the peel test distinguishes between acceptable and unacceptable criteria of the adhesive strength.

A bit of both: burst testing and peel testing

If you want confidence that your medical devices will traverse the supply chain challenges and arrive at the end user in a sterile state. Then the best approach is to understand and apply the information that a combination of both burst testing and peel testing provides.

At Industrial Physics we have designed and manufactured both burst testing and peel testing instruments for the medical industry over several decades. We investigate our clients’ unique test and inspection needs and we offer advice on the best way forward to meet international standards and keep patients safe.

Get in touch with our expert engineers today. We will happily talk you through any aspect of your process and what you need to achieve. Before recommending the right solution from a time, budget and technical perspective.

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