Kinectrics and ArcWear provide a wide array of testing for personal protective gear including arc flash, flash fire, filtration efficiency of masks, respirators and barrier face coverings (also called cloth face coverings or CFCs). First there are many terms in industry to describe these devices, we will focus on the three most common: Masks, Respirators and Cloth/Barrier Face Coverings.                
Medical MasksRespiratorsCloth/Barrier Face Coverings
Loose fitting, highly breathableTight fitting, less breathableLoose fitting, highly breathable
Primarily protects the environmentPrimarily protects the wearerPrimarily protects the environment
Block large droplets (cough, sneeze, splash)Block small particlesBlocks large droplets to varying degrees
Medical/biological Testing: Filtration, Blood splash, flammabilityParticulate/physical testing: Filtration, Breathability, Valve leak, Fit testingTesting: none (or limited) until ASTM F3502-21
Level Rating (1, 2, and 3)“N” Rating (e.g. N95) (also others: P, R)Minimum efficiency rating reported, fit reported and arc, flash fire etc required to be defined

Respirator Testing has it’s own complexities that the filtration experts at Kinectrics are uniquely skilled at testing. Our long history of nuclear industry of bacterial and nuclear contamination filtration testing allows unique insight into the current problems. There are many different standards for respirators and our accreditation and historical testing experience along with a deep team of material scientists, mechanical engineers, nuclear chemists, organic chemists, polymer chemists, physicists, and a team of textile scientists make the Kinectrics and ArcWear team the team to choose in evaluating and testing your personal protection equipment (PPE).

NIOSH – North America (42 CFR 84)China - (GB2626-20 06)Europe (EN 149-2001)Korea (KMOEL - 2017-64)
PFE≥ 95%≥ 95%≥ 94%≥ 94%
Flow Rate85 L/min85 L/min95 L/min95 L/min
AerosolNaClNaClNaCl and paraffin oilNaCl and paraffin oil
Inhalation Resistance≤343 Pa @ 85 L/min≤350 Pa @ 85 L/min≤ 70 Pa @ 30 L/min ≤ 240 Pa @ 95 L/min ≤ 500 Pa (clogging)≤ 70 Pa @ 30 L/min ≤ 240 Pa @ 95 L/min
Exhalation Resistance≤245 Pa @ 85 L/min≤250 Pa @ 85 L/min≤ 300 Pa @ 160 L/min≤ 300 Pa @ 160 L/min

Many countries have their own requirements for testing and certification of respirators. Kinectrics is ISO 17025 accredited to perform our testing but the US for instance only accepts certification from NIOSH at this time.  However for pretesting or verification of products efficacy, Kinectrics can help. In the area of medical masks and cloth/barrier face coverings which are currently self certified, Kinectrics can help you verify your own test results, verify a competitor or suppliers test results or help in your quality control or quality assurance program. See below for the respirator requirements for the US and Canada. The USA uses the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) 42 CFR Part 84 to regulate respirators and only NIOSH can certify a respirator for sale. 

Testing to NIOSH 42 CFR Part 84 Testing by Kinectrics

[NIOSH is part of the CDC or Center for Disease Control]

TestCanadian Requirements
Particulate Filtration Efficiency≥95% (42 CFR 84 (NIOSH))
Airflow ResistanceInhalation < 35 mmH2O Exhalation < 25 mmH2O
Mechanical Strength of Head strapAbility to withstand 10 N weight for each head strap tested
FitCAN/CSA Z94.4 (Annexes B and C) 18 subjects total as identified in NIOSH facial panel Panel fit requirements: 1 size: >60% 2 sizes: >80% 3 or more sizes: 90% Minimum pass is a fit factor of 100 for each subject
Biocompatibility*ISO 10993-5, ISO 10993-10 Materials must be non-cytotoxic, non-sensitizing and non-allergenic

*Kinectrics offers Biocompatibility testing for customers needing it via a partner lab.

Kinectrics also encourages Oeko-tex® testing through our FlashCert™ consortium with BTTG.