Merck protecting staff with new DuPont™ Tychem® 6000 F FaceSeal chemical protective garment
New design with rubber seal on hood, attached gloves and back entry ensures greater tightness and further enhanced protection against hazardous substances.
Tychem® 6000 F FaceSeal is a new type 3-B, 4-B, 5-B and 6-B chemical protective garment from DuPont Protection Solutions. It is made from Tychem® F, a durable, tried and trusted material which has been used for many years for chemical protective clothing. The coverall offers reliable protection against numerous toxic industrial organic chemicals, highly concentrated inorganic chemicals (even under pressure), particles, biohazards and certain chemical warfare agents. A new feature is the wide rubber seal on the hood which ensures a tight fit with a respirator mask even without taping. Tychem® 6000 F FaceSeal also has attached gloves made of a chemical resistant barrier material and, because the entry is now at the back, is easy and safe to put on and take off.
Merck KGaA, a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials, is one of the first customers to use Tychem® 6000 F FaceSeal. The coverall is currently being used in extensive soil remediation work under way at its Gernsheim site. Merck advised the external contractors carrying out the work regarding the selection of personal protective equipment (PPE) and assisted with training their staff in the use of protective clothing. In addition to the coverall, the workers wear a full-face protective mask with stationary breathing air supply and safety boots.
"We have already been using DuPont™ Tychem® F garment for quite some time", explains Horst Widder, Senior Manager Fire Protection and Site Security at Merck whose duties include PPE selection. "Faced with ever lower workplace limit values for certain chemicals such as benzene, we were searching for a chemical protective garment with a still higher level of tightness and integrated gloves and socks. DuPont recommended the new Tychem® 6000 F FaceSeal to us." Before taking a final decision, the company carried out several weeks of wear tests, with DuPont assisting with by providing samples and in-depth technical advice.
Horst Widder again: "We were already aware of the merits of the material such as its very high chemical barrier performance and low weight. The rubber seal on the hood of the new design fits tightly against the respirator mask without any creases, so ensuring a very high level of tightness at this critical location which cannot be achieved with conventional taping." Thanks to the chemical resistant gloves which are directly attached to the sleeves of the Tychem® 6000 F FaceSeal, there is no need to use barrier tape here either. The workers at Merck wear ordinary working gloves on top of these undergloves.
A further innovation is the back entry, which makes it easy and safe to put on and take off the coverall. The new coverall also has attached socks which can be worn in safety shoes or boots as well as knee-level boot flaps. Combined with antistatic shoes, the conductive strips in the socks provide earthing and ensure safe dissipation of electrostatic charges. In addition, Tychem® 6000 F FaceSeal has an antistatic treatment on the inside.
As Widder concludes, "Since staff were already familiar with handling the predecessor Tychem® F, training costs for the new model could be kept to a minimum."