Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI particle emissions laboratory gets calibration accreditation

Sept. 12, 2018 — Southwest Research Institute’s particle emissions laboratory is now the only facility fully accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for calibrating equipment to ISO/IEC 17025. SwRI is qualified to calibrate devices that measure and quantify particle number and sizes as small as 10 nanometers in diameter.

“SwRI has pioneered measuring and characterizing fine, ultrafine and nanoparticle emissions,” said Dr. Imad Khalek, a leading expert in particle emissions R&D at SwRI. “The industry is deploying onboard Portable Emissions Measurement Systems and using laboratory systems to accurately measure particle mass and number in emissions. This is critical to understanding the pollutants emitted by cars, trucks and airplanes, to name a few sources.”

Of particular recent interest are health concerns associated with solid particles emitted from combustion sources including automotive and aircraft engines. Particle number (PN) is now regulated in the European Union, China and India, and PN measurements are used in emissions research and engine certification applications worldwide. Special instruments are needed to perform PN measurement with special calibrations involving particle size and number. SwRI now provides such calibrations for:

  • Particle sizers in accordance with ISO 15900
  • Particle counters in accordance with ISO 27891
  • Particle number measurement systems for automotive applications in compliance with United Nations Economic Commission for Europe UNECE R49 and 83
  • Particle number measurement systems for aircraft applications in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization and Society of Automotive Engineers SAE AIR6241

“We are now the only laboratory able to perform both ISO compliant calibration and standardized testing that conforms to standards in the U.S. and abroad,” Khalek said. “We provide the highest level of accuracy in particle emissions measurements. These accreditations cement our research and innovation leadership in the industry.”

SwRI’s state-of-the-art particle calibration laboratory includes instruments to measure particle number, surface area, mass, size and morphology. The facility also houses an SwRI-developed universal particle generator that can generate soot, semi-volatile hydrocarbons, sulfate and nitrate for particle research and instrument calibration.

SwRI now offers ISO 17025 particle calibration services to clients and stakeholders in automotive and airspace applications as well as other industries requiring such service.

For more information see: Particle Science, or contact Deb Schmid, +1 210 522 2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.