Technical Cleanliness in the Automative Industry

As a crucial obligation for manufacturers in the automobile sector, cleanliness is now a requirement at every level of the automotive supply chain, with contamination control methods now present at every stage.

The ISO 16232 and the VDA 19 are two cleanliness standards for automotive systems, which include hydraulic and fuel systems, manifolds, transmission components, and pumps, among other components. You can define and measure the particle contamination of such parts using the guidelines provided by ISO 16232 and VDA 19.

In this blog article, we’ll go through the ideas that underpin the worldwide standard ISO 16232 as well as the German VDA 19 standard, all of which are available online.

Impact of contamination on automotive components and components

To assure product cleanliness, automotive manufacturers must conduct thorough inspections and analyses of contamination. That’s because contaminants such as foreign particles and residues can stick to vehicle components and parts throughout the production process, weakening their structural integrity and life expectancy in the field. Failure to manage technical cleanliness ultimately impacts the car producers’ bottom line and reputation when haemorrhage profits to cover warranty costs.

Engines and other vehicle components can be damaged because of the impacts of these particulates. As a result, cleanliness inspection and analysis are now considered to be critical quality control stages for car manufacturers.

What is the difference between ISO 16232 and VDA 19?

They are closely connected standards, both of which characterise the cleanliness of goods in the automobile sector and are ISO 16232 and VDA 19 compliant. The most recent version of the standard ISO 16232:2018 specifies “how to apply and document the various methods for defining particulate contamination levels on automotive components and systems (cleanliness inspection) of road vehicles,” according to the standard’s definition.

KRUSS MSA - surface tension analyser

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 16232 was produced by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), which is an independent, non-governmental international organisation with members representing 165 national standards organisations.

This standard is based on the VDA 19, which is published by the German Association of the Automotive Industry and is referred to as the ISO 16232. The VDA 19 varies from the ISO 16232 “in the sense that the contents are more comprehensive,” with extra examples contained in the standard, whereas the ISO 16232 is more general. According to the standard, the following issues have been addressed in more depth or with extra information:

The scope of the application and validity

  • Simplified cleanliness inspection — differences in cleanliness are monitored
  • Clean handling of test components in accordance with industry standards
  • Consensus on the need for cleanliness inspection
  • Choosing the appropriate examination technique
  • Real-world examples
  • Configuration and validation of the extraction technique, as well as a blank test

What are ISO 16232 and VDA 19 and what do they mean?

preview view scan for particle size measurementThe ISO 16232 and VDA 19 cleanliness standards, which were introduced to the automobile sector in the early 2000s, were intended to assist in ensuring cleanliness. Following the realization of these standards, the magnitude and makeup analysis of foreign particles in accordance with their quality criteria became necessary throughout the industry.

It is defined as the management of technical cleanliness for parts found in engines and transmissions, suspension, and electrical systems as well as many other components. They also detail the tests and analyses that must be performed in order to confirm that the technical cleanliness criteria established by ISO 16232 and VDA 19 are met. As a set of general guidelines for contamination testing of fluid components in road vehicles, both standards govern the particle extraction methods employed and the measurement equipment used in the process.

Consequently, these uniform laws foster mutual understanding between manufacturers and consumers, allowing car manufacturers to better ensure the cleanliness of their vehicles on the road.

How can you ensure compliance with ISO 16232 and VDA 19?

RJL MicroQuick Particle Counting System

The MicroQuick from RJL Micro and Analytic may be used to determine the quantity of contaminating particles, whereas the MSA from KRUSS provides valuable data on free surface tension, allowing users to comply with industry requirements such as ISO 16232 and VDA 19 for contamination analysis.

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