12. September 2018 | Protech

No more heat stress in chemical protective suits

Die Schutzanzüge bestehen aus dem Material Truetec, einem wasserabweisenden, zweilagigen Mikrofilamenten-Spinnvlies aus Polyester und Polyamid
The protective suits are made of Truetec material, a water-repellent, two-layer microfilament spunbond made of polyester and polyamide.
Source: P. Glatzeder GmbH
In numerous industries - for example in biochemical laboratories, in asbestos disposal, but also in the automotive industry - the wearing of protective suits is prescribed by the German statutory accident insurance (DGUV). On the one hand, these are intended to protect personnel from chemical liquids and thus injuries. On the other hand, it also prevents contamination that can have a negative impact on product quality, for example in paint shops. In order to meet the high demands on the tightness of the suit material, it is often necessary to make compromises with regard to wearing comfort. However, this has a negative effect on the well-being of the wearer. This is where P. Glatzeder GmbH comes in: The company has used its many years of experience with technical textiles and nonwovens to develop a chemical protective suit that offers high protection against foreign particles and at the same time far exceeds the wearing comfort of other materials. The SafeComfort, whose skin-friendly inner surface can absorb four times the weight of liquid, is available in three models and was presented for the first time at this year's mtex+ in Chemnitz.  

"So far, the development of protective suits has focused primarily on one characteristic: the protection of its wearers against chemicals," explains Kristin Glatzeder, Managing Director of P. Glatzeder GmbH (PGG). "At the same time, humans themselves have moved into the focus of industry as a source of contamination. For example, hair or skin flakes that get unnoticed in sensitive products such as chips or sensors during production can significantly impair quality and functionality. To avoid this, protective suits are therefore also used here. During development, however, it was often disregarded that, in addition to their protective function, the materials should also fulfil other criteria such as a good wearing comfort.

In 2016, P. Glatzeder GmbH therefore decided, together with a cooperation partner, to launch a suit on the market that meets the high protection requirements and at the same time ensures breathability and wearing comfort over a longer period of time. The partner had already developed a prototype for this, into which the company incorporated further know-how over the next two years. "Since we have been trading in nonwovens and technical textiles for almost 45 years, we were able to draw on our many years of experience in further development," says Glatzeder.

High breathability
The result is the Truetec material, a water-repellent, two-layer microfilament spunbond made of polyester and polyamide. It has a breathable outer side that offers protection against aerosols and fine particles and, depending on the model, limited splash protection. However, the inner side is particularly comfortable to wear: a microfilament textile was used here which absorbs four times its own weight in liquid and thus ensures a very high absorption of liquid. At the same time, it is highly breathable and permeable to water vapour. So that the wearer of the suit also feels comfortable over a longer period of time, the liquid is continuously transported away to the outside so that heat accumulation is avoided, the clothing dries while still being worn and even achieves a slightly cooling effect. Furthermore, SafeComfort chemical protective suits are very light despite their high tear strength and stability: on average they weigh less than 50 g/m2.

Panel confirms high wearing comfort
An extensive panel with 100 participants was held to test the suit's practical suitability in everyday working life. The participants attested all SafeComfort models to very good freedom of movement and a pleasant wearing comfort, which persisted even over a longer period at higher temperatures. "In previous studies, we found that wearers of a chemical protective suit begin to feel uncomfortable after an average of 20 minutes. This was mainly due to the poor breathability and the material that was not able to optimally dissipate perspiration," explains Kristin Glatzeder.
 "The microfilament spunbonded fabric with its skin-friendly, absorbent inner layer and breathable outer skin surpasses other well-known materials many times over in terms of comfort," explains Kristin Glatzeder.

PGG offers the SafeComfort chemical protection suit in three different versions: All models (N, H and T) are certified to EN ISO 13982-1 (Type 5) and EN 13034 (Type 6) and are particle-tight; they are also antistatic, free of paint wetting substances and silicone.

By Petra Gottwald

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