NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Chemical protective clothing standard test method development. Part 1. Penetration test method.

Mansdorf SZ; Berardinelli SP
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1988 Jan; 49(1):21-25
The relative precision of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F-903 test method for measuring the resistance of materials used in protective clothing to penetration by liquids was investigated in a round robin interlaboratory study. A total of seven laboratories performed three trials on five protective clothing materials challenged by five commercial liquids. The liquids used included deionized water, toluene (108883), methyl- ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK), hexane (110543), and hydrochloric-acid (7647010) (HCl). The method as designed was intended to be used as a screening mechanism to evaluate the quality control and integrity of clothing used for protecting workers from splash and splash like hazards as well as a method to evaluate seam integrity. The method was never intended to measure permeation resistance. In the test method, the resistance of the materials was measured at atmospheric and at 2 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) pressures. Three test specimens were cut with a minimum dimension of 64 millimeters from each chemical protective clothing article. Test materials included polyvinyl-chloride, polyvinyl-alcohol, chloroprene, butyl-rubber, and Tyvek synthetic fabric. The test period lasted until penetration was noted or 10 minutes had elapsed. Complete agreement was obtained from the seven laboratories regarding materials tested against HCl and water. Interlaboratory agreements of 77, 91.4, and 85.7 percent were obtained for toluene, MEK, and hexane, respectively. The authors recommend that the test pressure be reduced from 2psig to 1psig to reduce ballooning of elastic materials, that a large mesh inert or noncorrosive screen be incorporated in the test cell to prevent contact of material with the viewing port under pressure, that any evidence of vapor on the viewing port be considered as evidence of penetration, and that the use of a fluorescent dye to enhance visibility of penetration be considered.
NIOSH-Author; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-clothing; Laboratory-testing; Materials-testing; Pressure-testing; Testing-equipment
108-88-3; 78-93-3; 110-54-3; 7647-01-0
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division