ANNEXE 5: WHOLE GARMENT PERFORMANCE
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link is a principle that strongly applies to protective garments. A ﬁ rst class barrier fabric will be severely compromised if it forms part of a coverall with weak seams, unreliable closures and poor ergonomics. For this reason it is important that whole-garment tests are conducted to indicate protective performance and wearability in use.
The presence of a CE-mark on a coverall signiﬁ es that the garment complies with the safety requirements of the European PPE Directive and in the case of a Category III suit will include the registration number of the Notiﬁ ed Body , in the form CE- - - - , that certiﬁ es ongoing fulﬁ lment.
TYPE TESTING In accordance with the EU CE requirements (please see Annexe 1), chemical protective (Category III) clothing is subdivided into six levels or Types of protection (please see Annexe 2) each carrying a Type-test certiﬁ cate relating to tests for different kinds and degrees of hazard exposure. In order to be certiﬁ ed as offering a particular Type of protection,
a fabric s physical and barrier properties must also meet minimum performance requirements (please see Annexe 3) and for Types 3, 4, 5 & 6, the whole suit itself must be tested to a minimum of one of the whole suit Type tests and pass a dynamic movement test.
A WORD OF CAUTION
The EN whole-suit Type-tests (please see Annexe 3) deﬁ ne a maximum allowable amount of challenge test liquids, aerosols or particulates to ingress into the suit.
Example For example, for the Type 5, 80% inward leakage average results must be lower than 15% of inward leakage. For the Type 6 low level spray test, penetration spots at a maximum of 3 cm2 of the test liquid are allowed on the undergarment.
In other words, allocation to a speciﬁ c protection Type is not a sign that all protection suits of this type have the same barrier properties. Rather, protection offered by Type 5 suits can differ greatly in terms of the actual particulate barrier they provide, depending on the suit fabric, seam construction, design and whether the testing has been conducted with additional barriers, such as taping around the cuffs, ankles and hood/mask. Only by having a look at the detailed results can a user arrive at conclusions with respect to the actual barrier and impermeability properties of a given suit of a particular Type.
The suits were tested with a full face mask, boots and gloves taped at mask, cuffs, ankles and ﬂ ap.
Source: Independent Institute.
Tyvek® Classic Xpert
Figure 8. Total Inward Leakage (TILS): Average of the 10 suits and all activities EN ISO 13982 - (1 and 2). Dry particles Sodium Chloride NaCl 0,6 μm.