Volume 1, Issue 5 (May 2004)
Can Laboratory Pre-Treatment Of Welders' Protective Clothing Simulate Their Aging Process In Normal Use?
The fabrics of welders' protective garments can be worn out after only one or two use-wash cycles. It is probable that the by-products in the welding process, i.e., ultraviolet C-type (UVC) radiation, ozone, metal fumes, can contribute to the molecular changes responsible for the degradation. In this study we simulated the normal use of garments by cycling UVC/ozone and washing pre-treatments in the laboratory. In parallel, garments of the same five study fabrics were used by welders in a shipyard until the end of their service life. Properties defined in prEN ISO 11611 were measured from the laboratory-treated and the normally used fabrics. The laboratory cycling treatment affected tear resistance more than the tensile strength of the study fabrics. Both pre-treatments seemed to have affected the flammability of the fabrics similarly. The results of this study support the conception that it is possible to simulate the aging process of normally used garments by laboratory pre-treatments.