No matter what the brand or trade name, the majority of limited-use protective clothing products can be classifi ed into one of a small number of broad fabric technologies. Although they may look the same, it is very important to realise that, in practice, these different technologies exhibit widely varying performance attributes. As a result a garment specifi er or user must have a clear understanding of the technical properties of the various materials that might be considered for a given application.

Some protective fabrics, such as DuPont™ Tychem® and DuPont™ Tyvek® employ advanced proprietary technologies that have been specifi cally developed to provide a wide range of performance and comfort options to suit particular needs. Other fabrics are typically based on generic nonwovens and microporous fi lms.

In order to select the appropriate protective garment, it is essential to understand how effectively a particular fabric performs as a barrier to specifi c hazardous materials. For details of Penetration Testing and Permeation Testing please refer to Annexe 4. To compare the physical attributes of the Category III garment Type 3, 4, 5 or 6 refer to the following table which shows minimum requirements for CE properties vs Type and informational characteristics.

Some of the physical properties of PPE fabrics are categorised under the fabric Classes mentioned in Annexe 2. Whole garment performance is covered in Annexe 5. For information on fabric test methods please see Annexe 4.

Table 6. Minimum requirements for CE properties versus Type and informational characteristics.

Test method Norm Unit Type 6 Type 5 Type 4 Type 3

Abrasion resistance EN 530 Method 2 cycles Class 1 >10 cycles

Class 1 >10 cycles

Class 1 >10 cycles

Class 1 >10 cycles

Flex cracking resistance EN ISO 7854 Method B cycles X Class 1 >1000 cycles

Class 1 >1000 cycles

Class 1 >1000 cycles

Tear resistance EN ISO 9073-3 N Class 1>10 N Class 1>10 N Class 1>10 N Class 1>10 N

Tensile strength EN ISO 13934-1 N Class 1>30 N X Class 1>30 N Class 1>30 N

Puncture resistance EN 863 N Class 1>5 N Class 1>5 N Class 1>5 N Class 1>5 N

Seam strength EN ISO 13935-2 N Class 1>30 N Class 1>30 N Class 1>30 N Class 1>30 N

Penetration by liquids EN ISO 6530 % Class 2<5% X X X

EN ISO 6530 % Class 3>95% X X X

Permeation by liquids EN ISO 6529 Method A min X X Class 1>10 min Class 1>10 min

Surface resistance EN 1149-1 Ω <2.5E+09 optional

<2.5E+09 optional

<2.5E+09 optional

<2.5E+09 optional

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Annexe 3

Informational properties

Basis weight EN ISO 536 g/m2

Thickness EN ISO 534 μm Resistance to water penetration EN 20811 cm H2O Bursting strength ISO 2758 kPa Air permeability (Gurley) ISO 5636-5 s Water vapour resistance, Ret EN 31092 m2.Pa/W