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    Evaluating a New Material for Use in Totally Encapsulating Chemical Protective Suits

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    A totally encapsulating suit has been developed by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a high level of protection for response personnel during chemical spills. The suit is fabricated by Chemical Fabrics Corporation (CHEMFAB) using a new material, Challenge 5100. Challenge 5100 is CHEMFAB's aramid-reinforced fluoroelastoplastic composite that has demonstrated excellent chemical resistance against a variety of chemical solvents. Other components of the suit include a Teflon FEP visor, Teflon TFE film gloves, a pressure sealing zipper, and various liquid-proof seam constructions. The Coast Guard and Chemical Fabrics Corporation are extensively testing these materials and components against selected chemicals to determine suit capabilities and limitations. The results of the testing program will be used to make suit use recommendations, as well as support further optimization of suit materials and construction.


    totally encapsulating chemical protective suit, chemical resistance testing, permeation resistance, penetration resistance, protective clothing

    Author Information:

    Stull, JO
    Senior engineer, Texas Research International, Austin, TX

    Jamke, RA
    Chemical Fabrics Corporation, Merrimack, NH

    Steckel, MG
    Chemical Fabrics Corporation, Merrimack, NH

    Committee/Subcommittee: F23.96

    DOI: 10.1520/STP26352S