A modification to ASTM F 1671-97a, Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Blood-Borne Pathogens Using Phi-X174 Bacteriophage Penetration as a Test System, was developed to allow evaluation of elastomeric materials having small tears. The original method provides for a flat, open-mesh support screen to prevent expansion of such materials. While natural latex rubber specimens with open, laser-drilled holes ⩾1 µm fail this test by allowing virus penetration, nitrile-butadiene rubber specimens with small tears (20 to 45 µm) pass. A stainless steel wire cloth support screen with a hemispherical-like dome, in lieu of the flat screen, provided controlled expansion and allowed detection of defective specimens with tears. The data also suggest a similar modification to enhance ASTM F 1670-97, Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Synthetic Blood.
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