Select Page


RTCA DO-160 Section 13.0 Fungus Testing

The RTCA DO-160 fungus test standard determines whether material is adversely affected by fungi. Fungi growth is often under favorable conditions. These can include inorganic salts, high humidity, and a warm temperature. There are two types of fungus attacks. Material can experience either a direct or indirect fungus attack.

Keystone Compliance provides expert RTCA DO 160 fungus resistance compliance testing. Our engineers offer constant communication and assistance in the troubleshooting process. Request a quote to see why hundreds of manufacturers partner with Keystone each year for their compliance and certification testing services.

What Is A Direct Fungus Attack?

A direct fungal attack occurs when organisms digest organic materials. The fungus breaks down these materials. In the process, the fungus uses them as food. This food promotes additional fungus growth. Ultimately, there is a deterioration of the material.

Many materials are considered nonresistant. These are materials with properties that promote fungus growth. Below are some examples of nonresistant materials.

  • Natural materials are susceptible to fungus growth. These are considered carbon-based products. Natural materials are considered the most susceptible to a direct attack.
  • Cellulose materials are susceptible. These can include wood, paper, natural fiber textiles, and cordage.
  • Adhesives that are animal or vegetable-based are nonresistant materials.
  • Materials such as leather, grease, oils, and many hydrocarbons can promote fungal growth.
  • Numerous synthetic materials are nonresistant. These can include PVC formulations. Certain polyurethanes such as polyesters are nonresistant. Plastics that contain organic fillers are susceptible to fungus. Some paints and varnishes are known to promote fungus growth.

What Is An Indirect Fungus Attack?

Fungus attacks can occur on any material Even materials considered to be fungus-resistant can be attacked. These attacks are called indirect. These indirect attacks can still cause damage to the materials.

  • Deposits of resistant materials can be inadvertently placed on the equipment. This can happen during manufacturing. These materials can include dust, grease, perspiration, and other contaminants. This situation can also occur during the use or service of the equipment. The fungus grows on this material and causes damage. This occurs even though the material may be resistant to a direct attack.
  • Waste products excreted by fungus can cause damage. Some examples of the damage include corrosion of metals, etching of glass, or degrading of plastics.
  • The acidic waste products of fungus on adjacent materials may come in contact with the resistant materials.

What Effects Can Fungus Have On Equipment?

Fungus resistance testing is important because of the adverse effects it can have on equipment.

  • This also can increase moisture penetration.
  • Enzymes and organic acids, produced during metabolism, diffuse out of the cells and onto the surface. This process can cause metal corrosion, glass etching, hardening of grease, and other physical and chemical changes.
  • Electrical failures can occur from the physical presence of microorganisms. These organisms produce living bridges across components.
  • Health problems can be caused by the physical presence of fungi.
  • Aesthetically unpleasant situations can occur. This can cause users to reject using the equipment.

RTCA DO-160 Fungus Test Equipment Categories:

The DO-160G Section 13 test standard specifies one category of equipment.

Equipment Category F:

Equipment that is installed and exposed to severe fungus contamination. This equipment needs to be subjected to the DO-160 fungus resistance test. However, this test is not required for all materials. For example, equipment comprised of non-nutrients. This can be determined through an analysis or previous testing. Equipment meeting this description must go through RTCA-DO-160 fungus resistance testing.

Expert RTCA DO-160 Fungus Resistance Certification Testing Lab

Our fungus resistant testing is RTCA DO-160G accredited. We have the resources to meet nearly every fungus test need. In addition to being accredited to complete RTCA-DO-160G testing, Keystone is also accredited to all previous versions of the standard. Please contact us to see firsthand why so many manufacturers rely on Keystone Compliance to be their RTCA DO-160 test lab.

Looking for other testing to other sections of RTCA DO-160 testing? Click on the links below:

Modifications from one Version of RTCA DO-160 to the Next:

Changes from DO-160C Fungus Testing to DO-160D Fungus Testing

Section 13.5.7 was revised to eliminate 48-hour period after removal from chamber before performance test.

Changes from DO-160D Fungus Testing to DO-160E Fungus Testing

Other causes of fungus other than nutrient materials and personnel safety caution were added. Test failure criteria were clarified.

Changes from DO-160E Fungus Testing to DO-160F Fungus Testing

Magnesium sulfate was adjusted to align with other ingredients.

Changes from DO-160F Fungus Testing to DO-160G Fungus Testing

No changes were made.