The ASTM F2096 standard is a tool that describes a test method for detecting major leaks in packaging through internal pressurization, commonly known as the "Bubble test." This method is particularly useful for examining packaging for significant leaks, offering an effective technique in environments where packaging materials and dimensions vary significantly. It can be applied to large or elongated packages that do not fit into other packaging integrity test devices.
Furthermore, it serves as a means to evaluate package integrity, which is essential for ensuring consumer safety. With heat-sealed packaging designed to provide a contamination-free or sterile environment for the product, this test method ensures that these safety standards are met. It is also useful for detecting holes and channels in substrates, providing a thorough inspection of packaging integrity.
The standard covers the detection of major leaks in packaging with a sensitivity down to 250 μm (0.010 inches) and a probability of 81%, making it suitable for various types of packaging, including trays and pouches. However, it is worth noting that the sensitivity of this test method has not been evaluated for use with porous materials other than spunbonded polyolefin (Tyvek) or with non-porous packaging.
Finally, it is important to emphasize that this test method is destructive, requiring the package to be opened to apply internal air pressure. This means that packages tested with this method cannot be reused or returned to the production line. Despite some limitations, including its destructive nature and its potential inapplicability to certain materials, ASTM F2096 remains a fundamental method for maintaining packaging integrity and, consequently, product safety.