ASTM F2559 Package Testing: Sterilizable Peel Pouch Testing

ASTM F2559 package testing evaluates flexible peel pouches containing medical devices to be kept sterile. As an ISTA and ISO 17025-certified lab, we realize the importance of sterilization testing. Meeting the ASTM F2559 requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone Package Testing provides comprehensive reports shortly after completion of the testing. When packages do not meet the requirements, we assist with finding solutions. Lastly, we take a consultative approach throughout the entire test program.

Request a quote to see why so many companies partner with Keystone Package Testing. Have a question about sterilization testing? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Summary of ASTM F2559 Sterilizable Peel Pouch Lab Compliance

This guide defines the requirements and considerations for flexible peel pouches with one open, unsealed end intended to be sterilized containing medical devices. These are also known as preformed sterile barrier systems.

Medical device peel pouches are universally used by the industry and produced by suppliers. Above all, the pouches must contain and protect the device while maintaining sterility during all physical handling.

For this test, the peel pouches are categorized as chevron, header, and corner peel. The pouches are generally made through heat sealing or cohesive cold sealing. The seal is meant to be peeled open.

Additionally, the pouch can be porous, nonporous, or a combination and meet the printing requirements outlined in the standard.

For more information on Medical Device Package Testing, please follow the link: – Industries – Medical  Devices

Scope of ASTM F2559 Package Testing

ASTM F2559 gives guidelines for writing a specification required to address materials, method of manufacture, physical properties, performance requirements, dimensioning, appearance, and printing.

Next, flexible pouch requirements are divided into “initial pouch and material qualification” and “routine production and receipt requirements”. In most cases, initial pouch testing is only needed before the first order to ensure that the product is up to standards. Routine production requirements must be adhered to for every order to ensure customers receive the proper product.

The supplier and purchaser of the pouches will agree upon specifications and requirements in the following areas:


  • The pouch will be categorized by style: chevron, corner peel, or header bag.

Materials and Manufacture

  • Non-toxic, microbial barrier, appropriate physical barrier, and compatible with the sterilization process.
  • Pouches should be manufactured in a formal quality system.
  • Materials should demonstrate compliance with requirements during initial package qualification.
  • Validate the manufacturing process to ensure it is reproducible with consistent results that adhere to all standards.

Physical Properties

  • Fabricated in such a way that the seal will withstand sterilization, distribution, storage, and handling.
  • Specified seal strength- measured by the tensile test method.

Performance Requirements

  • Peeled pouch seal characteristics and requirements.
  • The seal should be opened to conduct a performance peel assessment that will evaluate a pouch’s ability to withstand different environments.

Dimensions and Tolerance

  • Dimension requirements should be decided based on product fit and function.

Workmanship, Finish, and Appearance

  • Loose foreign matter limits (inside and outside the pouch).
  • Wrinkle-free to eliminate voids in the seal.
  • No scratches or scuffs on the film.
  • Smooth, cleanly cut pouch edges.


  • Determine if the inks should meet standards such as water-resistant etc.
  • Ink color.
  • Includes all correct legible print.
  • No smears or smudges.
  • Specify placement and location of the print.


  • Testing should be done on an appropriate number of samples to be representative of actual production.

Packaging and Package Marking

  • Packaging should include multiple wraps and be packed in a shipping case that meets weight requirements.
  • Staples and high box stacking are not recommended.
  • Cases should be strapped to a pallet for secure shipping.

Supplementary Requirements

  • Traceability of materials.
  • Determine how changes will be handled in the future.

Significance of ASTM F2559 Sterilizable Peel Pouch Testing

ASTM F2559 Sterilizable Peel Pouch Testing ensures the integrity and effectiveness of sterilization packaging. Through the evaluation of seal strength, microbial barrier properties, and resistance to sterilization processes, this testing method helps maintain the sterility of medical devices and instruments.

A strong and secure seal is essential to prevent microbial ingress or loss of sterility. By assessing the strength and integrity of the seals, the testing helps identify any weaknesses or failures that may occur during sterilization or handling processes. This allows manufacturers to improve their sealing techniques, ensuring reliable protection for the enclosed medical instruments or devices.

Expert Sterile Peel Pouch Package Integrity Testing

In addition to sterile barrier testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including leak penetration, vibration, and drop. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. We can accommodate flexible and rigid packages of all sizes, including large pallets.

Contact us to learn first hand why so many companies partner with Keystone to achieve their ASTM package certification needs.


For more referenced ASTM standards and similar testing, please follow the links below:


Interested in the EMC/EMI, climatic, dynamic, shielding effectiveness, or IP Code testing of a product? Follow the corresponding links or for more information.