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CONDOM TESTING AT IRMRA

Latex condoms:

  • made from latex rubber, comes from the sap of hevea brasiliensis tree
  • most common
  • prevents STD (sexually transmitted disease) of all kinds
  • highly elastic and durable
  • oil based lubricants damage latex condoms (water based lubricants best)
  • Pregnancy rates after perfect use is 2%
  • Protects against ‘genital herpes’, ‘human papillomavirus’ (HPV), syphilis

Condoms are usually made of Latex. And good thing about latex is that it can be produced in thin sheets and also it can stretch a lot without tearing apart. But Latex has a tendency to react to heat and friction. And under situations it may fail, so all these situations make it necessary to test the condoms covering all aspect.

Models of condom testing:

Since condoms come with various limitations, there is not one but many models for testing of condom. IRMRA specialize in physical model.

Physical model

  1. Stretch / tensile test (IS 5382) – in this method a band is sliced from the shaft of the condom which tests it’s stretchability
  2. Air burst test (ISO 4074:2015, ISO 23409:2015) – in this method air is inflated into the condom until it bursts. The volume of air pressure tolerated by the condom is measured as the strength
  3. Electrical conductance test (IS 3396, ASJM D257) – in this method, testing is done to check if the condom is allowing electricity to pass through it. Condoms are supposed to be bad conductor of electricity
  4. Water leak test (ISISO 4073: NXM) – this test checks whether there are any leaks in the condoms. The condom is filled with 10 ounces of water to check it’s resistibility and durability
  5. Total lubricant content (ISISO 4073:NXE) – In this test, lubrication is checked through chemical testing

Regulators and standards for testing :

The primary international standard is ISO 4074:2002. The WHO specification uses ISO standards as a foundation for its guidelines on purchasing condoms for health promotion. The ISO and WHO specifications for condoms include parameters for:

  • Acceptable quality levels (AQLs), or the number of condoms that can be defective in each batch
  • Accreditation for laboratories that tests condoms
  • Procedures for the tests
  • Materials, shelf life and stability
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