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    ASTM F739 - 20

    Standard Test Method for Permeation of Liquids and Gases Through Protective Clothing Materials Under Conditions of Continuous Contact

    Active Standard ASTM F739 | Developed by Subcommittee: F23.30

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.03


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This test method is normally used to evaluate flat specimens from finished items of protective clothing and from materials that are candidates for items of protective clothing.

    5.1.1 Finished items of protective clothing include gloves, sleeves, aprons, suits, coveralls, hoods, boots, respirators, and the like.

    5.1.2 The phrase “specimens from finished items” encompasses seamed or other discontinuous regions as well as the usual continuous regions of protective clothing items.

    5.1.3 Selected seams for testing are representative of seams used in the principal construction of the protective clothing item and typically include seams of both the base material and where the base material is joined with other types of materials.

    5.2 The breakthrough detection time, standardized breakthrough time, permeation rate, and cumulative permeation are key measures of the effectiveness of a clothing material as a barrier to the test chemical. Such information is used in the comparison of clothing materials during the process of selecting clothing for protection from hazardous chemicals. Long breakthrough detection times, long standardized breakthrough detection times, low amounts of cumulative permeation, and low permeation rates are characteristics of more effective barrier materials than materials with higher permeation characteristics.

    Note 1: At present, only limited quantitative information exists about acceptable levels of dermal contact with most chemicals. Therefore, the data obtained using this test method cannot be used to infer safe exposure levels.

    5.2.1 The reporting of a standardized breakthrough time greater than a specific time period means that the test chemical has not permeated the specimen at a rate exceeding 0.1 μg/cm2/min in the designated time. Permeation may or may not have occurred at a lower rate during this time interval.

    5.2.2 The reporting of cumulative permeation over a specified test period is another means to report barrier performance of protective clothing for resistance to permeation. This measurement quantifies the total amount of chemical that passed through a known area of the material during the specified test period.

    Note 2: It is possible to relate cumulative permeation test results to the total amount of chemical to which an individual wearer may be exposed by accounting for the exposed surface area and the underlying air layer. This information has value when there are known maximum permitted skin exposure doses for specific chemicals.

    5.3 The sensitivity of the test method in detecting low permeation rates or amounts of the test chemical that permeate is determined by the combination of the analytical technique and collection system selected, and the ratio of material specimen area to collection medium volume or flow rate.

    5.3.1 The analytical technique employed shall be capable of measuring the concentration of the test chemical in the collection medium at or below 0.05 μg/cm2/min, and at or above the steady-state permeation rate.

    5.3.2 Often permeation tests will require measurement of the test chemical over several orders of magnitude in concentration, requiring adjustments in either the sample collection volume or concentration/dilution, or the analytical instrument settings over the course of the test.

    5.3.3 Higher ratios of material specimen area to collection medium volume or flow rate permit earlier detection of breakthrough and detection of lower permeation rates and levels of cumulative permeation because higher concentrations of the test chemical in the collection medium will develop in a given time period, relative to those that would occur at lower ratios.

    5.4 Comparison of results requires specific information on the test cell, procedures, and analytical techniques. Results obtained from closed-loop and open-loop testing may not be directly comparable.

    5.4.1 The sensitivity of an open-loop system is characterized by its minimum detectable permeation rate. A method for determining this value is presented in Appendix X1.

    5.4.2 The sensitivity of a closed-loop system is characterized by its minimum detectable mass permeated.

    5.5 A group of chemicals for use in permeation testing is given in Guide F1001.

    5.6 While this method specifies standardized breakthrough time as the time at which the permeation rate reaches 0.1 μg/cm2/min, it is acceptable to continue the testing and also report a normalized breakthrough time at a permeation rate of 1.0 µg/cm2/min.

    5.7 It is recommended that the test be continued for the measurement of maximum or steady-state permeation rate or for the duration specified for the determination of cumulative permeation.

    5.7.1 It is permitted to terminate tests early if there is catastrophic permeation of the chemical through the protective clothing material and the rate of permeation could overwhelm the capability of the selected analytical technique.

    5.8 Guide F1194 provides a recommended approach for reporting permeation test results.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method measures the permeation of liquids and gases through protective clothing materials under the condition of continuous contact.

    1.2 This test method is designed for use when the test chemical is a gas or a liquid, where the liquid is either volatile (that is, having a vapor pressure greater than 1 mm Hg at 25 °C) or soluble in water or another liquid that does not interact with the clothing material.

    1.3 Values states in SI units are to be regarded as standard. Values given in parentheses are not exact equivalents and are given for information only.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific precautionary statements are given in Section 7.

    1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D471 Test Method for Rubber PropertyEffect of Liquids

    D543 Practices for Evaluating the Resistance of Plastics to Chemical Reagents

    D751 Test Methods for Coated Fabrics

    D1777 Test Method for Thickness of Textile Materials

    E105 Practice for Probability Sampling of Materials

    E171/E171M Practice for Conditioning and Testing Flexible Barrier Packaging

    F903 Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Liquids

    F1001 Guide for Selection of Chemicals to Evaluate Protective Clothing Materials

    F1194 Guide for Documenting the Results of Chemical Permeation Testing of Materials Used in Protective Clothing

    F1383 Test Method for Permeation of Liquids and Gases Through Protective Clothing Materials Under Conditions of Intermittent Contact

    F1407 Test Method for Resistance of Chemical Protective Clothing Materials to Liquid PermeationPermeation Cup Method

    F1494 Terminology Relating to Protective Clothing

    F2815 Practice for Chemical Permeation Through Protective Clothing Materials: Testing Data Analysis by Use of a Computer Program


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.340.10 (Protective clothing)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 46181500(Safety apparel)


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
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    DOI: 10.1520/F0739-20

    Citation Format

    ASTM F739-20, Standard Test Method for Permeation of Liquids and Gases Through Protective Clothing Materials Under Conditions of Continuous Contact, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2020, www.astm.org

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