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Development and Validation of PPE Laboratory

Preconditioning Techniques for Testing Barrier Materials - FY08


  • To provide the standards organizations with the appropriate preconditioning methods, so ensembles will be evaluated using more realistic and consistent methods that are closer to the real world needs and experiences of first responders
Testing equipment- washing machine, oven, and fabric abrasion device

Applicable Standards

  • NFPA Protective Clothing Standards - 1991, 1992, 1994, 1971, and 1951
  • Various ASTM Test Methods under F23 Protective Clothing and D13 Textiles
  • Various preconditioning methods of the American Association of Textile Colorists and Chemists (AATCC)

Key Partners

  • International Personnel Standards
  • ASTM International
  • NFPA


  • Emergency Responders
  • Manufacturers
  • Test Laboratories

Project Scope

  • Management of the review, analysis, and inter-laboratory validation of ensemble preconditioning techniques that are applied to ensemble materials for barrier testing.
  • Development of more realistic preconditioning procedures will result in garment designs and materials that provide long term durability while preventing unnecessary stress to the wearer.


  • Q1 Development of a test plan and proposal
  • Q2 Submit for peer review of test plan/proposal
  • Q2 Initiate field test programs
  • Q4 Complete testing on selected clothing and materials
  • Q4 Present recommended conditioning practices to NFPA and ASTM


  • Manuscripts published or submitted to peer review journals (approx. 1)
  • Presentations to stakeholders or conferences
  • Standards committee meetings & public meetings
  • Final report with recommended preconditioning techniques for use by the NFPA Technical Committees and ASTM F23 and D13.


  • Revisions or updates to all applicable NFPA Standards and ASTM Test Methods.
  • Possible new ASTM practice for conditioning materials.
Page last updated: August 08, 2008
Page last reviewed: August 08, 2008
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)