1. What tests does Centexbel perform on (fabrics intended for making) community masks?

To check the proper functioning of DIY and community masks we perform the following tests, based on NBN/DTD S 65-001:2020 and the CEN document CWA 17553:2020 - Community face coverings - Guide to minimum requirements, methods of testing and use.

  • Domestic or industrial washing + drum drying according to ISO6330 (with adjustment of duration from program 6N to plateau of 30 minutes 60°C)
  • Air permeability according to ISO9237:1995 at 100Pa (20cm²)
    It is desirable that the pressure difference measured using this method is greater than 100 l/s/m².
  • Filter fractional efficiency according to EN ISO16890-2:2016 
    The mask must have a filter capacity of at least 70 % for solid particles or for liquid particles, with a size of 3 µm.

These tests are a recommendation, not an obligation.

The filtration level in the NBN_DTD_S_65-001_2020 / CWA 17533:2020 Spec mentions tests with particle sizes up to 3 µm, which is larger than the size of the Covid-19 virus. So is the mask really effective?

The virus is carried in micro-droplets of a size much larger than the virus itself. This is why the mask offers good droplet/particle retention.

2. How many masks and/or materials per test do I submit to Centexbel?

Required sample material to carry out the tests:

1. Visual inspection new condition: general confection, length of elastic bands / ribbons, soiling, etc:

  • 5 face masks

To test the resistance of head securing:

  • 5x putting on and off of masks by 3 different test persons: 3 face masks  

Penetration of single and multilayered components (how many virus particles are stopped)

  • Filtering capacity EN ISO16890-2:2016: 2m² (2 samples of minimum 100x100cm)

Air permeability ISO 9237:1995: 

  • 1m²

All samples must be carefully packed and provided with a document (see question 3) in which your company name, address and contact details are clearly stated with an overview of the requested tests per sample and a description of the quality (fibre composition) of the material to be tested. 

To be delivered to:

Lies Alboort
Technologiepark 70 
9052 Zwijnaarde

3. What is the price of these tests?

E-mail your question to Lies Alboort and you will receive a document with an overview of the different tests we perform on community masks and their prices.

The same document can be used as a basis to place your order.

4. How long does it take to get a community mask tested?

Testing of air permeability according to ISO9237 and any cleaning procedures can be carried out within a few days.

For the filtration test you should take into account a minimum delivery time of 2 weeks. As soon as we receive your samples a correct delivery time can be communicated.

5. Can I have my masks/fabrics tested for the presence of toxic substances?

This is a very pertinent question because the mask is in direct contact with your skin and breathing. Centexbel can test and certify the fabrics and materials that make up your mask according to OEKO-TEX® criteria and/or test for the most important health parameters.

The OEKO-TEX® certificate has the advantage that it covers all legal health parameters at once.

For more information, please contact Filip Govaert. 


6. Can Centexbel certify the proper functioning and safety of the community masks I want to sell?

3 covid-19 labels

Yes, indeed! To this end, Centexbel has drawn up a certification scheme based on NBN/DTD S 65-001:2020 and/or CWA 17355:2020.

If your product meets the requirements described in question 1 and 2, you can opt for the COVID-19 approved by Centexbel certificate with which you can demonstrate the quality of your product to your customers.

For more information, please contact Stijn Devaere