ASTM D3078 Flexible Packaging Bubble Emission

Testing Standard:

ASTM D3078 Test Method for Determination of Leaks in Flexible Packaging (Bubble Emission)

Standard Number
ASTM D3078

Standard Title
Test Method for Determination of Gross Leaks in Flexible Packaging Containing a Headspace Gas by Bubble Emission

Overview for ASTM D3078:

ASTM D3078 is a test method that is helpful by way of vacuum in detecting small leaks. Purple Diamond Testing offers ASTM D3078 Testing as part of our packaging compliance and validation services. The Gross Leak Test is a standard test method for deciding if there are any leaks in the packaging of a product. The test itself is done by submerging the sample package into water while it is in the vacuum chamber. If there are any leaks at all, the pressure from the vacuum chamber will cause or force the package to plug smaller leaks in the packaging. If there are bubbles or seepage of fluid within the sample package, then the actual test has failed, and the packaging needs to be re-designed. Read on for information about the materials used for ASTM D3078.

Materials Used for ASTM D3078: 

As mentioned, Purple Diamond Laboratory uses a vacuum chamber to perform this standard test. There is an immersion fluid necessary to finish this test. Mostly water is used as the immersion fluid. This immersion fluid does not degrade the package being evaluated. According to SterileBarrier.org, “A vacuum chamber shall be any transparent container capable of withstanding approximately one atmosphere pressure differential, fitted with a vacuum-tight cover. A vacuum gage, an inlet tube from a source of vacuum, and an outlet tube to the atmosphere shall be connected to the chamber cover… also use an immersion fluid which does not degrade the package being evaluated. The test sample and test fluid shall be at equilibrium with normal room temperature.”

Rationale:

ASTM D3078 – Determination of Gross Leaks in Flexible Packaging (Bubble Emission). This test method is performed by submerging the sample package in water or other liquid, a vacuum is introduced, and any leakage will be clear by a steady stream of bubbles.

Also, according to sterilebarrier.org, “This test method covers the determination of gross leaks in flexible packaging containing a headspace gas. Test sensitivity is limited to 1 x 10-5 atm cm3/s (1 x 10-6 Pa m3/s) or even less sensitive as shown in recent interlaboratory test. Small leaks may not be detected by this procedure. Viscoelastic effects on the products, entrapped air, become significant and prevent passage through small openings. Positive pressure inside the pouch after the vacuum is drawn may force the product to plug small leaks. The size of the leak that can be detected is dependent upon the products held, the nature of the packaging material, and the test parameters selected. The values said in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.”

Key Points:

Related Standards to ASTM D3078:

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