SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1992

A Comparison of Methods for Measuring the Liquid Barrier Properties of Surgical Gowns


The liquid barrier properties of woven reusable and nonwoven disposable surgical gowns were measured using seven test methods (AATCC 42 Water Resistance: Impact Penetration Test; AATCC 127 Water Resistance: Hydrostatic Pressure Test; IST 80.7 Mason Jar Test; Kimberly-Clark Blood Strike Through Test; ASTM F 23.40.01 Draft Standard Test Method for the Resistance of Protective Clothing Materials to Biological Fluids conducted at 1 and 2 psi; and Gore Elbow Lean Test) and four challenge liquids (distilled water, bovine blood, synthetic blood, and 70% isopropyl alcohol). The impervious gowns which were reinforced in the front and sleeve areas with liquid proof coatings or films passed all tests when the data were averaged across all liquids. The cotton/polyester traditional gown failed every test. The regular nonwoven gowns constructed of a single layer of fabric passed some tests with some liquids, but failed most of the time. The fabric reinforced gown performed better than the regular gowns on some tests. Isopropyl alcohol was the most challenging liquid, in that more fabrics failed the tests with this liquid than the others. The bovine blood was the least challenging. Synthetic blood is recommended for barrier testing.

Author Information

McCullough, EA
Schoenberger, LK
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 83–98
DOI: 10.1520/STP19153S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5194-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1430-2