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International Standards

ISO 15106-3

Introducing ISO 15106-3 - Industrial Physics

ISO 15106-3 is a global ISO standard that will determine the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) of plastic film, plastic sheeting and multi-layer structures using an electrolytic detection sensor. 

WVTR is the amount of water vapor transmitted through a unit area of a test specimen per unit of time under specified conditions. 

Why is WVTR testing to ISO 15106-3 standards valuable?

It goes without saying that you don’t want water vapor to get through your packaging films and barriers. It’s obvious why you wouldn’t want this in the food sector – nobody likes soggy potato chips! But it’s also a vital and more demanding consideration for our customers who work with highly sensitive electronics in the automotive or aerospace sectors, for example. 

In order to measure water vapor permeability through a material, you’ll need to know the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) or moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR). Simply put, this permeation rate calculation shows you the mass of water vapor that is transmitted through a measured area in a specific unit of time under specified conditions of temperature and humidity. 

A three pronged ISO WVTR testing approach

There are three different parts to the ISO 15106-3 water vapor transmission rate testing standard: 

  • ISO 15106-1: humidity detection sensor method 
  • ISO 15106-2: infrared detection sensor method 
  • ISO 15106-3: electrolytic detection sensor method 

Part three of ISO 15106 is a useful WVTR testing standard to follow when you need rapid measurement over a wide range of transmission rate testing scenarios. 

ISO 15106-3 WVTR testing principle 

The gas transmission cell of an ISO 15106-3 compliant WVTR tester is designed in such a way that, with the test specimen inserted, it’s divided into a dry chamber and a controlled-humidity chamber.  

The dry side of the specimen is swept by a flow of dry carrier gas and water vapor. This  permeates through the specimen from the controlled-humidity chamber and is carried by the carrier gas into an electrolytic cell. This cell contains two spiral wire electrodes, coated with a thin layer of phosphorous pentoxide, mounted on the inside wall of a glass capillary.  

The carrier gas is passed through the capillary and the moisture it holds is quantitatively absorbed by the phosphorus pentoxide. It’s then decomposed electrolytically into hydrogen and oxygen by the application of a D.C. voltage of about 70 V to the electrodes.  

The mass of the moisture which permeates through the specimen and is decomposed per unit time is calculated from the electrolytic current required.  

ISO 15106-3 water vapor transmission rate testers

So, how can Industrial Physics improve your 15106-3 water vapor transmission rate testing?  

At Industrial Physics we’re proud to supply gas analyzers, water permeability testers, oxygen analyzers, and moisture analyzers to suit a wide range of industries. 

Systech Illinois – AquaSense 7101 Water Vapor Permeation 

Advanced coulometric sensor technology meets the best in user-friendly operation with the AquaSense 7101 water vapor transmission rate tester.  

It’s the ideal choice for measuring the moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) of liquids through both current and newly formulated packaging film materials. Which is just what you need for speedy, quality control testing.  

Need moisture vapor transmission rate testing solutions? Get in touch

We’ve learnt a thing or two about WVTR testing over the decades. Now Industrial Physics is recognized as a brand that likes to bring new, innovative WVTR testers and permeability testing equipment to market. 

We like to share our knowledge and we’re here to help you to answer your questions about WVTR testing. Across the knowledgebase section of our website we publish lots of blogs on related subjects.  

You could start with this blog - the Industrial Physics FAQ guide to permeation testing. And then follow-up with this piece which explores why water vapor permeation testing is important. 

If you have any questions about ISO 15106-3 and how we can help you with your moisture vapor transmission rate testing, then please just get in touch!

Contact us - Industrial Physics

Your global test and inspection partner for ISO 15106-3