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Evaluating Cleanroom Wipers for Aseptic Environments: The Importance of the Taber Abrasion Test Method

by | Jul 21, 2023


Maintaining cleanliness and sterility in aseptic environments, such as pharmaceutical cleanrooms, is paramount in ensuring product quality and safety. The presence of visible particles and contaminants can lead to product rejects, costly investigations, and compromised integrity. One primary source of these particles is the shedding of fibers from cleanroom wipers used to clean and disinfect critical equipment. Sterile fill managers currently need a standardized method for evaluating the particle-shedding characteristics of these wipers, making it challenging to select the most suitable options. This is where the Taber abrasion test method comes into play, offering a valuable means of assessing cleanroom wipers and their suitability for aseptic environments.

Understanding the Challenge

Cleanroom wipers used in aseptic environments face numerous challenges. They are subjected to abrasion and sheer loads during cleaning processes, which can cause the release of fibers and particles. This shedding poses a significant risk to product integrity, making it crucial to identify wipers with minimal particle shedding properties. The pharmaceutical industry has long needed a reliable and standardized test method to measure sterile cleanroom wipers’ particle-shedding characteristics. This is where the Taber Abrasion method proves invaluable.

The Taber Abrasion Test Method

The Taber Abrasion method is an ideal solution for evaluating the particle-shedding properties of various cleanroom wipers. This test measures the mass loss of fabric resulting from abrasion. Subjecting wipers to controlled abrasion allows for quantifying the shedding characteristics and provides crucial data for making informed decisions about their suitability for aseptic environments.

Comparing Wiper Performance

One of the key considerations in evaluating cleanroom wipers is their abrasion resistance. While microfiber wipers offer improved particle entrapment, achieving comparable abrasion resistance often comes at a higher cost. Polyester wipers, considered best in class for abrasion resistance, can achieve a mass loss as low as 0.1 grams under the Taber abrasion test method. In contrast, typical microfiber wipers usually exhibit mass loss values ranging from 0.08 to 0.15 grams.

Leading the Way: Foamtec’s Innovation

Among the providers of cleanroom microfiber wipers, Foamtec stands out as a leader in the industry. Leveraging their expertise, they have developed a cost-effective fabric that combines high resistance to abrasion-generated particles with excellent particle entrapment properties. Through optimized fiber fabrication and weaving techniques, Foamtec achieves an impressive mass loss of only 0.006 grams under the Taber abrasion test method. This remarkable performance makes Foamtec the preferred choice for cleanroom microfiber wipers, offering a non-compromising wiping solution for aseptic environments.

A Comprehensive Approach

While the Taber abrasion test method provides essential insights into the particle-shedding characteristics of cleanroom wipers, it is vital to complement this evaluation with other relevant tests. Combining the Taber method with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) liquid particle and airborne particle test methods allows for a more comprehensive assessment. By considering the overall performance of wipers across multiple parameters, including abrasion resistance and particle entrapment, users gain a complete picture of their suitability for use in aseptic environments.


The pharmaceutical industry’s demand for a reliable method to evaluate the particle-shedding characteristics of sterile cleanroom wipers has been met by the Taber abrasion test method. This testing approach and IEC liquid and airborne particle test methods enable sterile fill managers to make informed decisions when selecting cleanroom wipers for aseptic environments. Foamtec’s innovation in cleanroom microfiber wipers, boasting exceptional abrasion resistance and particle entrapment properties, has established them as the leading provider in the industry. By utilizing the Taber abrasion test method and considering multiple evaluation parameters, pharmaceutical companies can ensure the highest standards of cleanliness, reduce product rejects, and mitigate the need for expensive non-viable particle investigations.

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