The Answer to “When is SAR Testing Required?”

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The Answer to “When is SAR Testing Required?”

As a manufacturer of wireless devices, you may be wondering, “when is SAR testing required?” You may also be unsure if the wireless device or devices you manufacture require SAR testing. This is very common, as SAR regulations are ever-changing and convoluted. 

However, knowing whether or not your product will require SAR testing as early as possible in development will help you get through the SAR certification process quickly and smoothly. In addition to this, a multitude of wireless devices must prove SAR compliance. 

Keep reading to find out more about when SAR testing is required and for which products.

When is SAR Testing Required – Products That Must Prove SAR Compliance

When it comes to answering the question “when is SAR testing required?” Many variables need to be taken into account, making it difficult to provide a short answer for this question.

First of all, wireless products that emit radiofrequency (RF) energy are required to prove SAR compliance to ensure that they are safe to be used. This is done through SAR testing. 

SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, testing measures the amount of RF energy that is absorbed by the human body when a device emitting RF energy is used. Specifically, SAR testing must be conducted on all wireless devices with RF radiating parts that are closer than 20 cm (about 8 inches) from the body or head when in use. In addition to this, there are differences in SAR requirements among different countries. For example, in Canada and the US, devices are required to prove SAR compliance depending on the following:

  • The distance between the user and the device
  • The device’s operating power
  • The frequency the device operates in

However, in Europe, any wireless device that operates at a power of 20mW or higher is required to undergo SAR testing.

SAR value limits and guidelines also vary between devices. The FCC has classified wireless devices as fixed, mobile, or portable products depending on how they are installed and used. They are categorized based on the following criteria:

  • Fixed products: devices with an antenna that are permanently attached to a structure and can’t be easily relocated.
  • Mobile products: devices that can be easily moved from one location to another and are used more than 20cm away from the body.
  • Portable products: like mobile products, these are devices that can be easily moved from one place to another, but portable products are used within 20 cm of the body.

Some devices have exceptions even within these classifications. However, a misunderstanding that is common is a device that is held in the hand can be classified as mobile even though it may be used within 20cm of the body.  All handheld devices must be evaluated for SAR against the extremity SAR values.

when is sar testing required

Why Your Product Must Prove SAR Compliance

SAR testing will allow you to prove that your product meets internationally established SAR limits. Showing SAR compliance proves that a product’s safety and compliance requirements are met. This is important because RF energy may damage human tissue if not kept to a safe limit.

Note that SAR testing can be done during all stages of product development, but early-stage SAR testing will let manufacturers know of any modifications that need to be made early in the process. This makes these changes easier and less costly.

In addition to this, if you try to sell your product without proving SAR compliance, it may be recalled because it poses a health risk to users. Manufacturers could also face penalties like a monetary fine, suspension of sales, and imprisonment for up to 3 months. Your business’s reputation may also be affected. Being known for ignoring RF compliance testing can have widespread and negative repercussions for your business.

Get SAR Testing Help From RF Exposure Lab

At RF Exposure Lab, we can help you get the answer to “when is SAR testing required?” In addition to this, we’re committed to only providing necessary SAR testing, so we never perform unnecessary tests on products. We’re also up to date on all current SAR regulations and standards both domestically and internationally. We test to all current regulations and can help you throughout the development of your product. Because we test to many worldwide standards, we’re able to provide accreditation globally.

We’re here to support your SAR testing needs from the beginning to the end of your product’s development. This can even start with getting help from us on your product’s design, which can affect SAR compliance.

With our help, you can avoid costly compliance failures and product redesigns, which will allow you to save money and get your product on the market as quickly as possible. For RF compliance testing provided with speed, expertise, accuracy, and integrity, contact us today.