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Evaluation of a simple weight-loss method for determining the permeation of organic liquids through rubber films.

Mickelsen RL; Hall RC; Chern RT; Myers JR
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1991 Oct; 52(10):445-447
The steady state flux values of selected penetrants through four polymer materials were determined using the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) permeation standard method F739-85 and a weight loss method. The weight loss test cell was constructed from stainless steel vacuum fittings consisting of a gland and a male and female nut. The gland was modified with a stainless steel plug at one end. For the test, the gland was filled with penetrant, and the polymer material was placed into the female nut and mounted onto the gland, trapping the penetrant inside. The cell was oriented specimen side down. A conventional analytical balance was used to determine the penetrant loss through the polymer film as a function of time. The advantages and limitations of the weight loss method were illustrated by using data obtained from the permeation of acetonitrile (75058), n-hexane (110543), and methanol (67561) through films of four acrylonitrile butadiene copolymers. The steady state flux values obtained by using the weight loss method gave results statistically equivalent to the more analytically complex ASTM standard method. The weight loss method required the experimenter to monitor the weight of the cell and its contents over time to obtain the steady state flux whereas the ASTM method required the experimenter to chemically analyze for the penetrant concentration in the effluent gas stream as a function of time. The ASTM method required more analytical skill and training and more costly analytical equipment than did the simple weight loss method. The weight loss method needed further improvement and validation, but showed promise even in its present form. By using the weight loss method, the potential exists for far more chemical protective clothing users to conduct their own low cost permeation testing as an initial screening to determine the relative permeation performance of candidate materials.
NIOSH-Author; Protective-clothing; Industrial-hazards; Personal-protective-equipment; Materials-testing; Testing-equipment; Laboratory-testing; Organic-chemicals
75-05-8; 110-54-3; 67-56-1
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American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division