This study consists of an investigation of the contact angle properties of latex after fabrication into condoms. The angles were determined with various fluids such as hot and cold water, citric acid solution, and bovine serum. All trends indicate that the biological situation is more wetting (i.e., lower contact angles) than water at room temperature. The findings on the contact angle properties were applied to studying the sensitivity of a water leakage test, as described in ASTM D 3492, used by manufacturers and others. A variation of this test is used by FDA field laboratories. This test involves filling the condom with 300 cm3 of water and visually examining it for leaks. The equations that predict the conditions whereby water will pass through a small hole in the condom include contact angles as parameters. This study indicates that use of a surfactant solution instead of water in the current test may make it far more effective in determining the presence of very small holes in condoms.
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