ISO 16232 and ISO 4406 Similarities Cause Testing Confusion

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Midbrook, Inc. of Jackson, MI helps companies determine which ISO testing standard is appropriate for their application. With their advanced technology center, Midbrook will also perform the testing and help companies develop a custom cleaning process for their specific application.

ISO standards for cleanliness have become increasingly commonplace in manufacturing. Midbrook, Inc, of Jackson, MI, has expanded their technology laboratory that can be employed to perform this type of parts testing. Due to an influx of requests regarding both forms of testing, Midbrook deemed it necessary to upgrade their facility with a new Filtrex Microscope; in order to perform both varieties of ISO testing for their customers and better serve the manufacturing community. Midbrook has the capability to test a variety of quality standards, utilizing the advanced equipment in the technology center.

Two of the more common, and also confused, quality standards are ISO-16232 and ISO-4406. Midbrook works closely with customers to determine which of the standards will be most appropriate for their specific application.

The two ISO standards are similar in their wording but have two different applications. ISO-16232 deals with testing components of fluid circuits, while ISO-4406 is concerned with testing the actual hydraulic fluid.

ISO-4406 testing can be conducted with microscopes or a properly calibrated liquid particle counter. The proper calibration method for the liquid particle counter is defined by ISO-11171. Midbrook uses the Filtrex Microscope to perform the ISO-4406 test, providing a similar level of accuracy as the liquid particle counter test.

ISO 16232 is the appropriate testing for a company attempting to verify that their automotive components are meeting cleanliness standards that are now being required by manufacturers. Using the Filtrex Microscope system, Midbrook can test any component to the ISO 16232 standard. The Midbrook test has 10 particle size classifications that can be tested, ranging from particles as small as 5 microns to over 1000 microns in size. The report will inform manufacturers of how many particles, of each size, are present on their components. From there, Midbrook can help develop a cleaning process that reduces the contamination, if necessary.

ISO 4406 is a valuable testing tool to companies that produce filters, particularly oil filters in vehicles. By testing fluid before and after it passes through the filter, the ISO 4406 testing procedure determines the efficacy of the product.

Proper testing of components and products is always necessary to confirm that companies are producing quality goods. Midbrook’s extensive testing laboratory is the ideal way for companies to have their products tested to internationally recognized ISO Standards, and even company specific standards such as the Volvo STD 107-0002 cleanliness specification, by a company with experience in the cleaning industry.


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Aaron Dexter
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