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One of the most challenging problems currently facing researchers in the field of chemical protective clothing (CPC) permeation testing is how to perform tests for compounds that have low volatility and low water solubility. Permeation testing with these compounds is difficult because an inert gas or water are currently the only permeant collection media that one can use with the assurance that the CPC material will be unaffected by the collection medium.
An approach to solving this problem using an automated sample concentrating technique in conjunction with gas chromatography is described. Such a technique allows determinations of breakthrough times and permeation rates while maintaining the permeant concentration in the collection medium at very low levels through the use of relatively high collection medium flow rates. By keeping the permeant concentration low enough to remain within the volatility limit of the compound being tested, the range of compounds that can be tested using air or nitrogen as the collection medium is greatly expanded.
chemical protective clothing, permeation, permeation testing, permeation resistance, permeation test methods, low-volatility compounds, low-solubility compounds, protective clothing
Senior research chemist, Health and Environmental Sciences Research, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI