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ISO 16890 replaces EN 779 Filter performance according to particulate fractions

As of January 2017, the new test standard ISO 16890 for filter testing and assessment replaces the previous standard EN 779 and will have sole validity from the middle of 2018 onwards. This happens with a transitional period of 18 months. During this period both standards can exist in parallel. It is possible that countries withdraw the 779 standard with immediate effect. In this case, ISO 16890 replaces EN 779 transition-free. The United Kingdom and The Netherlands, for instance, have already withdrawn EN 779 at the beginning of 2017. 
This new method for the evaluation of air filter elements represents a paradigm shift. In future, filter efficiencies will be determined with regard to the particulate classes PM1, PM2,5 and PM10, which are also used as evaluation parameters by the WHO (World Health Organization) and environmental authorities.

Based on these benchmarks, users will in future be able to more precisely select filters according to their individual requirements.

ISO 16890 - the new group classification
ISO 16890

Viledon filters are well-prepared for the new ISO test standard


Visit the Viledon product page and figure out by using the data table in which ISO class the prefered filter is categorized. At a glance you will find the filter class according to ISO 16890 and the conventional filter class to EN 779 / EN 1822.

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To make it easier for you to select the right filter, the current Viledon product catalogue 2017/2018 offers a comprehensive overview of the technical characteristics according to different test standards. Thus become familiar with the state of the art filter evaluation.

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ISO meets your application

Gas turbines and compressors

Gas turbines and compressors

Surface treatment

Surface treatment

Food and beverage

Food and beverages

Gas phase filtration

Gas phase filtration

All information concerning the ISO 16890 can be found in our expert interview

ISO 16890

ISO 16890 - the new group classification

According to new ISO standard filters are divided into four groups. A prerequisite for each group is that a filter captures at least 50 % of the appropriate particle size range. If a filter, for example, captures more than 50 % of PM1 particles, it will be grouped as an ISO ePM1 filter. The respective efficiency is then reported, rounded in 5 % increments.

Alongside fine dust filters, the new ISO standard also evaluates coarse dust filters as ISO coarse: that is, filters that capture less than 50 % PM10.

    • ISO 16890
    • Group classification
    • ISO ePM1
    • ePM1, min ≥ 50 %
    • ISO ePM2,5
    • ePM2,5, min ≥ 50 %
    • ISO ePM10
    • ePM10 ≥ 50 %
    • ISO coarse
    • ePM10 < 50 %

Advantages of the new ISO 16890

  • More practical and realistic than EN 779
  • Higher significance in terms of actual filter performance
  • Actual particle collection of a filter regarding particulate matter (range between 0.3 and 10 microns)
  • Evaluates separation efficiency of a filter without dust loading in the laboratory

F7 becomes ISO ePM1 50 % to 65 %

The category in which filters are rated according to the new standard depends on their qualities and is individually determined in each case. However, it is foreseeable that most currently commercially available F7 filters will be rated according to the new ISO standard between ISO ePM1 50 % and 65 %.

In many general building ventilation application areas, however, PM10 is the relevant particle size. The target here is an efficiency of at least 80 – 90 %. This can be expected of most of today’s F7 filters, but can also be achieved by some M6 filters.

Example: Transfer of filter class F 7 to ISO ePM1 / ePM2,5 / ePM10
Example classification of three Viledon filters according to EN 779 and ISO 16890
    • Filter
    • EN 779
    • ISO 16890
    • T 60
    • M6
    • ISO ePM10 60 %
    • MX 85
    • F7
    • ISO ePM2,5 65%
    • MX 98
    • F9
    • ISO ePM1 85 %

Comparing the EN 779 and ISO 16890 standardsWhat has changed for users?

  • Category
  • EN 779
  • ISO 16890
  • Closeness to reality
  • Determining of average efficiency / arrestance after loading with synthetic test dust in at least 5 individual steps

    Average of several measurements at 0.4 microns

    Distant from reality

    1. Measuring fractional efficiencies when new
    2. Measuring fractional efficiencies after 24 hours of IPA treatment
    3. Calculating average fractional efficiencies

    Calculating efficiency ePMx

    Equivalent to real performance

  • Filter evaluation
  • Exclusively particle size 0.4 μm

  • Particle size spectrum from 0.3 – 10 μm

  • Filter performance
  • Distinction according to filter classes rather than particle filtration performance

    No detailed info about particle size

  • Filter performance is determined according to particulate matter fractions PM10, PM2,5 and PM1

    Detailed info about various particle sizes

  • In terms of the application
  • No classification of particulate matter fractions for specific conditions of use

    Filters chosen without regard to application

  • Specific application conditions are taken into account (e.g. general air conditioning versus medium-risk hygiene areas)

    Application is taken into account when choosing a filter

  • Filter characteristics
  • Taken into account:

    1. Average gravimetric arrestance
    2. Average efficiency (based on 0.4 micron particles)
    3. Minimum efficiency (F7 to F9)
    4. Dust-holding capacity for synthetic test dust (ASHRAE)
    5. Δp
  • Taken into account:

    1. Efficiency based on PM10, PM2,5 and PM1
    2. Dust-holding capacity for synthetic test dust (ISO A2 / AC Fine)
    3. Initial gravimetric arrestance
    4. Δp
  • Class division
  • Filter classes

    G2 to F9

  • Four ISO groups

    1. ISO ePM1
    2. ISO ePM2,5
    3. ISO ePM10
    4. ISO coarse