VTT testing the performance of respiratory protection masks and surgical masks

VTT carries out tests to analyse the performance of respiratory protection masks (EN 149) and surgical masks (EN 14683) and their materials used in the manufacturing process.

Using selected measurements, we provide quality assurance data for the authorities, health care and importers as well as for the development of new products.

 VTT’s measurement process is designed for the quality assurance of products that have already been CE-marked and approved as well as for product development. VTT’s measurements can help verify whether the performance of a product or material is appropriate for the purpose of use.

Further information on the approvals required for products can be obtained from the competent market authorities

Product approval and certification:
Surgical masks (EN 14683: Type I, Type II, Type IIR)
Respiratory protection masks (EN 149: FFP1, FFP2, FFP3)

Information about product certification is available at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Medicines Agency.

VTT's filtration efficiency and breathing resistance measurement

VTT can measure the performance of CE marked respiratory protective devices (EN 149), medical face masks (EN 14683) and/or respective material samples as well as fabric face masks (CWA 17553:2020).  
Product categories:  
1.    CE marked respiratory protective devices (EN 149), medical face masks (EN 14683) and/or respective material samples: We determine the filtration efficiency and breathing resistance using methods as defined in SFS-EN ISO 29463-3:2018 (High-efficiency filters and filter media for removing particles in air. Part 3: Testing flat sheet filter media). The test aerosol is DEHS (di(2-ethylhexyl) sebacate). Air flow rate through the material/device is selected in accordance with EN 149 or EN 14683 depending on the product under test. The results are computed using EN 149 and EN 14683.  
2.    Fabric face masks: We determine the breathing resistance according to pre-standard CWA 17553:2020 using the standard method EN 14683:2019, Annex C. For these products we do not test the filtration efficiency according to the pre-standard. CWA 17553:2020’s critical requirements of the fabric masks.

In deviation from these acceptance criteria, the test particles used in VTT’s measurements are DEHS particles. For practical purposes, the data provided by VTT’s measurements on filtration performance is comparable to that required by the standards and is more quickly available. According to VTT’s experts, microbial and inanimate particles behave similarly for the purposes of evaluating particle filtration efficiency.

The tests focus on measuring filtration performance and breathing resistance. If you would like VTT to test the performance of your PPE, please e-mail us at: suojavarustetestaus@vtt.fi.

  • Tell us whether the product in question is a surgical masks (EN 14683) or respiratory protection masks (EN 149) and how you intend to use the product.
  • Send us five samples of the product or material (5 x A4 size sheets of the material) to enable VTT to run parallel tests on each model. 

We will get back to you as soon as we can. PPE testing is a high priority at the moment, and tests are carried out on a first-come-first-served basis. We will send you a report as soon as we have the results.

Rapid deployment of domestic PPE manufacturing

The Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has completed the first round of tendering to ramp up domestic production of PPE and are choosing the manufacturers who will be involved in the process. For more information, please contact Program Director Jyrki Alkio at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.