ASTM F23.40.04, Draft Test Method for the Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Synthetic Blood Using a Mechanical Pressure Technique, was evaluated and compared to three other barrier test methods that apply hydrostatic pressure to the liquid and fabric. The new instrument applies continuous mechanical pressure to the fabric and synthetic blood until penetration is visible, and the penetration pressure level is recorded. The barrier properties of 14 different surgical gown materials and control fabrics were measured using the new method and ASTM F 1670 and F 1671 and AATCC 127. Surgical gown materials reinforced with films, coatings, or membranes passed ASTM F 1670 and F 1671 and reached the highest pressure level attainable on the AATCC 127 and ASTM F23.40.04 tests. Single-layer and fabric reinforced gowns exhibited varying degrees of liquid resistance. The new method simulates the high mechanical pressures of short duration that occur during surgery. It deserves consideration as a standard.
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