Protective suits may look the same, but only from a distance. Learn about Tyvek® fabric properties in comparison to MPF (Microporus Film) through a series of 1-min technical demonstrations videos.
First of all, let’s explain how both fabrics are constructed. DuPont™ Tyvek® is manufactured by a flash-spinning process, Tyvek® fabricis made of strong, continuous, high density polyethylene fibres. The fibres are thermally bonded into a tight, homogeneous and soft fabric that is intrinsically breathable, does not shed fibres (‘linting’) and has inherent barrier properties i.e. not reliant on a thin applied coating or layer. This unique combination of barrier protection and inherent breathability makes Tyvek® an ideal fabric for a wide range of protective applications. Microporous Film (MPF) fabrics are a bi-laminate material comprising a thin microporous film bonded to a spunbound polypropylene base. These fabrics offer limited durability since all barrier protection is lost when the protective film layer is abraded. In addition, their low air-permeability characteristics make then much less breathable than other fabrics with all this implies in terms of poor wearer-comfort and heat control. Now let’s see how both fabrics perform in a series of simple technical demonstrations.
Abrasion is the physical destruction of fibers, yarns, fabrics resulting from the rubbing of the fabric surface over an abrasive glass paper. It ultimately affects the appearance of the fabric and results in the loss of performance properties after a number of cycles.
How do protective fabrics react to repeated cycles of abrasion? Discover the short video demonstrating how Tyvek® and Microporous Film (MPF) fabric react to abrasion using the Martindale test Method EN 530 (Method 2). Which one of the fabrics retains liquid protection after abrasion? Let’s find out.
Tyvek® and MPF – Abrasion test
Garment weight is one aspect taken into consideration when discussing comfort when wearing personal protective equipment. Although comfort is a subjective and personal matter but garment weight among design, breathability or feel on the skin is among the most frequently cited factors in wearer trials.
When wearing personal protective garment, it is very important that they are comfortable to wear and light, so that wearers can perform their tasks with ease. In our experiment we have tested two garments made from Tyvek® and Microporous Film (MPF) to assess how much they weigh. Lighter than a mobile phone? Watch the video to find out which garment is lighter in our experiment.
Tyvek® and MPF – Garment weight
‘Linting’ refers to the tendency for some types of yarned and stapled fabric fibres to shed tiny particles into the atmosphere. This fibre displacement is greatly exacerbated when the fabrics are being moved or manipulated as is the case when working in a protective garment. In this case the lint that is shed can be a major source of contamination in applications ranging from paint spraying to cleanroom to hygiene-sensitive processes.
Low linting is a key feature in many environments and helps to avoid the contamination of the process and final products. Therefore, it is crucial to select Personal Protective Equipment that offers inherently low linting features.
In the video we tested two coveralls, made from Tyvek® and Microporous Film (MPF) to see how much particles they release. See the video below to discover the results with us!
Tyvek® and MPF – Linting test
BREATHABILITY AND WATER RESISTANCE
Breathability is the ability of the garment to allow sweat to evaporate and provide moisture vapour permeability.
Nobody wants to perform daily tasks in a garment which is not breathable. On the other hand, it is important for the garment to be resistant to liquids to protect the wearer. Fortunately, there is a fabric that has both features. Using a simple coffee pot with boiling liquid it is quite easy to demonstrate the breathability of the fabric as well as its resistance to hold the liquid. See how Tyvek® performed in comparison to Microporous Film (MPF).
Tyvek® and MPF – Breathability and water resistance test