At Particle Technology, we ensure that all of our testing services are carried out to the highest international standards. We continually update our procedures and equipment in line with updates to these standards. ISO 16232:2018 is the latest update to the standard for performing cleanliness testing on automotive components, replacing its predecessor ISO 16232:2007.

Developed in cooperation with numerous companies within the automotive industry, ISO 16232:2018 is now the international equivalent of VDA19.1.

Road vehicles — Cleanliness of components and systems

ISO 16232:2018 ‘specifies requirements for applying and documenting methods for determining particulate contamination on functionally-relevant components and systems (cleanliness inspection) of road vehicles. Aligning ISO 16232:2018 with VDA 19.1, allows for a more consistent, uniform procedure of technical cleanliness testing. ISO 16232:2018 also provides guidelines for particle extraction and analysis using techniques such as gravimetric analysis, optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

The latest 2018 standard is especially important in the automotive industry as it guarantees the quality and reliability of the final product by defining several cleanliness classes based on the size and number of particles present in a sample whilst minimising environmental impact.

Automotive cleanliness standards

Particle Technology’s internal testing procedure TM101 is UKAS 17025 accredited. As part of the UKAS 17025 extension to scope, we have implemented updates to our internal testing methods to further align our cleanliness testing to the 2018 standard.

Cleanliness inspection is the assessment of technical cleanliness performed under circumstances of initial inspection and evaluation.

This includes inspection of incoming and outgoing components, and quality control or monitoring of manufacturing processes such as cleaning, surface treatment and assembly processes.

The degree of cleanliness required for a specific system or component is dependent on individual factors.

New procedures for ISO 16232:2018

In response to these changes, Particle Technology’s cleanliness testing department has added two new pieces of equipment, which enable the measurement of magnetism gauss and demagnetisation of parts.


After trialling different approaches to the use of the equipment, we were able to determine the most suitable by performing a repeatability and reproducibility study, which was then used to validate the equipment itself.

Our demagnetisation table in collaboration with the gauss measurement improves the overall accuracy of cleanliness measurement as well as being incorporated into our TM101 test method. Gauss measurement of parts and standardising residual magnetism improves the overall cleaning measurement of specific parts. With the use of our demagnetisation table our cleanliness testing department is now able to standardise the gauss of a piece.

Gauss Meter

Through our innovative new procedures in accordance with the latest ISO 16232:2018 standard, we are able to improve the cleanliness levels of parts, helping to enhance product quality and lifespan, and overall customer satisfaction.

If you would like any more information about Cleanliness Testing or other services and products from Particle Technology, please browse our website or get in touch today.