Particle Size

The importance of particle size and security levels

Correct disposal of data carriers

History has demonstrated that the proper disposal of digital data carriers involves several considerations. The primary concern is the required level of security. Is the data classified or not? If it is classified, wiping or degaussing are not preferred methods. Physical destruction is the most effective approach, as long as the chosen method ensures the particle size aligns with the data’s security level. Security standards like EADMS and ISO 21 964 (DIN 66399) offer guidance on the recommended particle size corresponding to the security level.

Determining particle size

The European Association of Data Media Security (EADMS) audited the MAXXeGUARD shredder. It received a rating of “C” or “D” depending on the cut settings. The smallest average particle size, achieved through cross-cutting, measured 12.05 mm². EADMS level “C” certification tests involved processing magnetic 3.5″ hard drives on the MAXXeGUARD Shredder. Particle size was determined by weighing individual platter particles and expressing their weight as a percentage of the known weight and the surface area of an uncut platter. While the weight method is more accurate for determining particle size, slight deviations may still occur.

MAXXeGUARD particle size

When cutting with a 1 mm cut length, the following results were obtained: 68% had a particle size of ≤ 100 mm², 18% ranged between 100 – 200 mm², and 12% fell between 200 – 240 mm².