ASTM International

ASTM E1216 - 11 standard practice for sampling for particulate contamination by tape lift


Source: ASTM International

The tape lift provides a rapid and simple technique for removing particles from a surface and determining their number and size distribution.

By using statistically determined sample size and locations, an estimate of the surface cleanliness level of large areas can be made. The user shall define the sampling plan.

The sampling plan shall consider the importance of surface geometry and surface orientation to gas flow, gravity, obstructions, and previous history of hardware. These factors influence particle fallout and entrapment of particles on the surface. The geometry of joints, recessed areas, fasteners, and the correspondence of particle-count data to area can be maintained.

The selection of tape and the verification of its effect on the cleanliness of the hardware is very important. The tape adhesive should have sufficient cohesion to avoid transfer of the adhesive to the surface under test. The impact of adhesive transfer should be evaluated by laboratory testing before using the tape on the hardware. Since potential for adhesive transfer exists, cleaning to remove any adhesive might be required. In addition, the tape should have low outgassing characteristics, and as a minimum, it should meet the requirements of less than 1.0 % total mass loss (TML) and 0.1 % collected volatile condensable materials (CVCM), as measured by Test Method E595.

Care should be exercised in deciding which surfaces should be tested by this practice. The tape can remove marginally adhering paint and coatings. Optical surfaces should not be tested until verification has been made that the surface coating will not be damaged. Rough surface finishes result in low removal efficiencies. Surface finishes up to approximately 3.20 μm (125 μin.) have been tested and found to give satisfactory results.

This practice has been tested only on surfaces at room temperature. Evaluation of temperature effects must be conducted prior to using the test on surfaces other than room temperature.

Only personnel experienced in microscopic particle-counting techniques should be used to count and size the particles.

1. Scope

1.1 This practice covers procedures for sampling surfaces to determine the presence of particulate contamination, 5 μm and larger. The practice consists of the application of a pressure-sensitive tape to the surface followed by the removal of particulate contamination with the removal of the tape. The tape with the adhering particles is then mounted on counting slides. Counting and measuring of particles is done by standard techniques.

1.2 This practice describes the materials and equipment required to perform sampling of surfaces for particle counting and sizing.

1.3 The criteria for acceptance or rejection of a part for conformance to surface cleanliness level requirements shall be determined by the user and are not included in this practice.

1.4 This practice is for use on surfaces that are not damaged by the application of adhesive tape. The use of this practice on any surface of any material not previously tested or for which the susceptibility to damage is unknown is not recommended. In general, metals, metal plating, and oxide coatings will not be damaged. Application to painted, vapor deposited, and optical coatings should be evaluated before implementing this test.

2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately)

ASTM Standards
E595 Test Method for Total Mass Loss and Collected Volatile Condensable Materials from Outgassing in a Vacuum Environment
F312 Methods for Microscopical Sizing and Counting Particles from Aerospace Fluids on Membrane Filters

Federal Standard
FederalStandard595 Color

Index Terms

particulate contamination; pressure-sensitive tape; sampling: Contamination--aerospace materials/applications; Particle analysis; Particulate contamination (aerospace environments); Sampling aerospace materials; Surface analysis--aerospace materials; Tape lift method;

ICS Code

ICS Number Code 49.040 (Coatings and related processes used in aerospace industry); 49.140 (Space systems and operations)

DOI: 10.1520/E1216-11

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