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ISO 12219-3 is part of a series of methods for assessing chemical emissions from car trim components, and provides manufacturers with a convenient protocol for rapid emissions screening.

The value of microchamber sampling

The ISO 12219 series of methods describe several protocols for measuring VOC and SVOC emission rates from materials used in vehicle cabins, and for testing overall cabin air quality.

While the larger-scale 12219-series tests take several hours, ISO 12219-3 uses microchamber sampling, so delivering emissions screening results in a much shorter time frame. This makes it valuable for manufacturers needing to quickly check emissions during the course of product development.

How does sampling under ISO 12219-3 work?

The method involves placing a representative section of material inside one of the microchamber sampling pots, and equilibrating it at a set temperature before dynamically sampling the VOCs and SVOCs onto a sorbent-packed TD tube. The overall process typically takes about 30 minutes. Analysis of the sorbent tube is then performed by TD–GC–MS, according to ISO 16000-6.

Alternatively, the chambers can be fitted with DNPH cartridges for sampling formaldehyde, with analysis by HPLC.

Complying with ISO 12219-3

Markes’ μ-CTE is a leading example of a commercial microchamber, and is available in two versions: one with four 114-mL chambers and another with six 44-mL chambers. Both are fully compliant with ISO 12219-3.

Importantly, a strong correlation has been found between the results obtained with the µ-CTE and those from larger chambers, meaning that the µ-CTE can be used to predict the results of the longer-term reference tests.

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