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Development and Validation of PPE Laboratory

Preconditioning Techniques for Testing Barrier Materials - FY10

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.


  • 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 Protection
  • ASTM International
  • NFPA


  • Emergency Responders
  • Manufacturers
  • Test Laboratories
Logos of Key Partners

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.


  • Project Completed in June 2009 with the delivery and acceptance of the Project Final Report under NIOSH Contract No. 254-2007-M-21443 entitled: Development of a Improved Criteria for Protective Ensembles and Element Barrier Materials through the Investigation of Their Wear and Use.


  • Final report with recommended preconditioning techniques for use by the NFPA Technical Committees and ASTM F23 and D13.


  • Future revisions and updates to all applicable NFPA Standards and ASTM Test Methods.
  • Possible new ASTM practice for conditioning materials.
Page last updated: April 5, 2010
Page last reviewed: April 5, 2010
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory