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Chemical Permeation Database

The MICROCHEM® by AlphaTec™ chemical database features permeation resistance for numerous chemicals, including the ASTM F1001 and ISO 6529 standard list of challenge chemicals.

All testing is performed by independent accredited testing laboratories

Key features of the chemical database include:
  • Instant access to permeation data on over 200 chemicals
  • Easy to use navigation
  • Allows you to compare MICROCHEM® by AlphaTec™ fabric performance
  • Download full chemical lists
Search the MICROCHEM® by AlphaTec™ Chemical Database (opens in new window)
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  • What is permeation?
    Permeation is the process by which a chemical moves through a protective clothing fabric on a molecular level.
  • Measuring permeation
    The resistance of a protective clothing fabric to permeation by a potentially hazardous chemical is determined by measuring the breakthrough time and the permeation rate of the chemical through the fabric.
  • Permeation Test Methods
    There are various permeation test methods in use today. Which one to use depends on a number of factors including the country of use for the protective clothing, and the type of chemical (i.e. gas or liquid).
Where possible, MICROCHEM® by AlphaTec™ results are recorded as follows;

Permeation rate - this is the rate at which the hazardous chemical permeates through the test fabric and is expressed as a mass of hazardous chemical flowing through a fabric area per unit of time i.e. 1.0ug/cm²/min or 1.0 millionth of a gram per square centimetre per minute.

Breakthrough Detection Time (BDT) - the average time elapsed between initial contact of the chemical with the outside surface of the fabric and the detection of the chemical at the inside surface of the analytical device.

An actual breakthrough time of >480mins and a permeation rate of "nd" (not detected) does not mean breakthrough has not occurred. It means that permeation was not detected after an observation time of eight hours. Permeation may have occurred, but at a rate less than the minimum detectable permeation rate or MDPR. MDPR can vary depending on the chemical or the analytical device/test method.

Normalised breakthrough time - this is the average time between initial contact of the chemical with the outside surface of the fabric and the time at which the chemical is detected at the inside surface of the fabric at the permeation rate specified by the appropriate standard.

The key test methods and the normalised permeation rates required are listed below;

1) ASTM F739 specifies results to be recorded as breakthrough time (BT) at 0.1ug/cm²/min

2) ISO 6529: 2001 allows results to be reported at the normalised permeation rate of 0.1ug/cm²/min or 1.0ug/cm²/min

3) EN 374-3 specifies a normalised permeation rate of 1.0ug/cm²/min

Cumulative Permeation - The total amount of test chemical that has permeated over a specified time after initial contact.


Safety Note: All chemical tests and breakthrough times given relate to laboratory tests on fabrics only. Seams and closures may have lower breakthrough times, particularly when worn or damaged. It is the userís responsibility to select an appropriate garment, gloves, boots and other equipment for the particular use. The user shall be responsible for determining how long the garment can be worn for the particular use and whether it can be suitably cleaned for re-use. Ansell does not give any warranties or make any representations about its garments other than those contained in the official literature supplied by Ansell with each garment.
Important: Breakthrough time alone is not sufficient to determine how long a garment may be worn once the garment has been contaminated. Safe wear time may be longer or shorter than the breakthrough time depending on the permeation behaviour of the substance, the toxicity of the substance and the exposure conditions.