Protection Factor

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (CCDC Chemical Biological Center) Test, Reliability & Evaluation Branch’s (TREB), Protection Factor Testing Facility (PFTF) is designed to evaluate chemical protective capabilities of respirator systems such as masks and protective clothing. We support all branches of the service as well as firefighters and first responders. We also provide customer training onsite and offsite.

Our chamber simulates exposure to chemical agents by using an aerosol test simulant. Test subjects or trainees don test items and enter a test chamber containing the aerosol challenge. The air inside the protective equipment is sampled for challenge aerosol particles while the subject undergoes a series of exercises intended to evaluate worst-case operational conditions. There is a standard set of exercises or the customer may specify exercises that would apply to their mission needs. Data results are graphically displayed real-time to help the customer understand the success and failures so that decisions and troubleshooting if necessary can be made quickly. The facility can accommodate two to four test subjects and is designed for flexible protocol setup. Human performance testing is also conducted to ensure comfort, fit, breathing resistance, vision, and communication aptitude.


  • Protection Factor / Fit Factor testing with Aerosol challenge
  • User Performance Testing (evaluations, obstacle courses)
  • Can accommodate 2 to 4 test subjects at a time
  • Acquires real time PF data
  • Accommodates a variety of exercises per customer needs
  • First Responder Personal Protective Equipment Training Classes


  • Edgewood Human Use Committee Protocol number 0404S “Protection Factor Testing of Negative and Positive Pressure Respirators”
  • 1992 Joint Service Standardization Agreement (JSSA) for Fit Factor Testing of Military masks


  • 18’ x 12’ x 9’ Test Chamber
  • Uses corn oil or Polyalphaolefin “PAO” oil aerosol as simulant
  • TSI Laser Photometers 8587A
  • TSI Electrostatic Classifier
  • TSI DustTrak II
  • M41 PortaCounts
  • ATI 6-D Aerosol Cold Generation System

TREB’s Protection Factor Testing Facility (PFTF) can train a variety of first responders on how to correctly wear their PPE and give them the confidence that their equipment will protect them in the field. Classroom sessions are provided to inform users of the importance of properly fitted PPE, common issues that occur with respirators that cause them to malfunction, and correct ways to conduct preventative maintenance. The classroom session is followed by a fit check that is performed on an M41 Protection Assessment Test System (PATS) or a Joint Service Mask Leakage Tester (JSMLT) and concludes with personnel entering the Protection Factor chamber for a final test.