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July 28, 2016

AATCC Approves New Washer for Stability in Shrinkage Testing

AATCC has recently approved the new SDL Atlas Vortex M6 Washing Machine to meet the parameters for home laundering as detailed in the M6 Monograph. This instrument is the only commercial grade washer that is specifically designed to address the most recent revisions of the monograph developed by the AATCC Research Committee RA88, Home Laundering Technology in 2013.

For decades, AATCC standards for wash shrinkage testing and other sample preparation procedures have called for the use of domestic washing machines. During this time, there have been many changes to the accepted operating parameters of a top loading washing machine. Temperature settings, agitation speed and style, spin speed, and wash and spin times have all seen changes over the years. While some changes seem less significant than others, the net result has been a moving target when trying to settle on what results are correct from one washer to the next.

Unfortunately, the large appliance manufacturers do not have much, if any, interest in trying to help with the problems. They make washers for the mass market of home laundering. If it can meet AATCC’s needs – wonderful, but they are not going out of their way to build a special washer for testing applications. As of June 2016, only one home washer from a home appliance manufacturer was claimed to meet the Monograph specifications but it has limited availability. This leaves many labs that need a new washer without any options.

To solve this issue, the AATCC committees agree, a laboratory grade top loading washer is needed. One that will have consistency of production over many years, offers advanced control of the wash cycles, and that can be calibrated and adjusted like other lab instruments.

AATCC has recently added the Vortex M6 from SDL Atlas to the approved top loading washer list. Designed to meet the latest top-loading table of the Monograph, the instrument is a commercial grade washer and is supplied with a controller, heavy duty variable speed motor, and custom water temperature and flow controls. This construction allows the Vortex M6 to not only perform wash sequences in tight compliance of the Monograph, but also give users the ability to program custom washes with durations running up to 1999 minutes.

Additionally, the instrument also comes with alarms for out of spec water temperatures and fill volume. The temperature alarm can be individually overridden one test at a time or, in climates where the cold water temperature is never able to be reached, the alarm can be turned off for all cold water tests, while the volume alarm will eliminate a possible overflow.

Finally, with the controller, motor, and other custom controls, the Vortex M6 eliminates the issue of calibration drift. Unlike the historically recognized machines, this instrument can be calibrated to ISO 17025 requirements and adjusted back into compliance easily by qualified personnel.

The AATCC standards requiring a traditional top loading washing machine have struggled for decades with inconsistency due to the changing models of home washing machines. With the introduction of the lab grade Vortex M6, those difficulties have become an afterthought.

The Vortex M6 can be found on the AATCC Approved Washers & Dryer List here:

For more information about the Vortex M6, visit or contact an SDL Atlas solutions expert at 803-329-2110.

SDL Atlas is committed to providing customers confidence in standard based testing. With offices and experts in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and China, plus agents serving over 100 countries, SDL Atlas is ready to support its customers with instruments, equipment, consumables, and services anywhere in the world.

-      (US): +803-329-2110; E: [email protected]

-      (Hong Kong): +852 3443 4888; E: [email protected] 

-      (China): +86 755 2671 1168; E: [email protected]

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