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Tychem® FAQ


Browse our Tychem® FAQs to learn more about the product. Please choose a category below.

 


 
Application

For which applications can Tychem® garments be used?
Tychem® chemical protective suits are used to protect people from hazards and processes from contamination by people in a wide range of applications, such as: Chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, automotive, food industry, agrochemical handling, transportation, petrochemical industry, industrial cleaning and maintenance, cleanroom applications, emergency response and military.
Tychem® C - protection against many concentrated inorganic chemicals, biological hazards and ultra fine particles. Tychem® F – protection against various organic chemicals and highly concentrated inorganic, biological hazards, ultra fine particles and oil. Tychem® C2 - protection against many concentrated inorganic chemicals, biological hazards and ultra fine particles and offers improved tightness level at a higher mechanical strength. Tychem® F2 - protection against various organic chemicals and highly concentrated inorganic, biological hazards, ultra fine particles and offers improved tightness level at a higher mechanical strength.

For further information for which applications the products are suitable, please refer to products and applications. Consult the permeation data or garment selection tool. Need help selecting the right and safe apparel? Contact the experts.
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Disposal

Can Tychem® garments be incinerated?
Tychem® chemical protective suits (such as Tychem® C, Tychem® F) consist of polymers that do not contain halogens in their structural formula. When incinerated at high temperature these materials yield only water and carbon dioxide.
How can I dispose of a used respectively contaminated chemical protective suit?
Dispose of the garment in the same way as the hazard is disposed of. Depending on the chemical nature and the amount of contamination on the chemical protective suit, they can be incinerated after use without harming the environment. Follow national and/or local regulations.
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Selection

How do I decide what chemical protective suit to use for protection against certain chemicals?
It’s the user’s sole responsibility to select appropriate combinations of chemical protective suits and ancillaries for his particular application. DuPont recommends evaluating the garment performance by criteria, such as: Protection, durability, comfort, quality, compatibility with other personal protective equipment and environmental compatibility. To help you through the decision making process, DuPont™ offers a variety of support services. One broadly used service is the technical Hotline: Techline. Managed by technical experts, the Techline service offers users rapid access to technical data and advice on garment specification and selection where possible. Techline: Tel.: (00352) 621 164 043
Contact us online.
How long can a chemical protective suit be worn once contaminated?
It depends on the specific chemical substance, toxicity of the substrate, concentration, fabric barrier performance, garment area contaminated, temperature, pressure of substances when reaching garment surface and protective undergarment. By consulting the permeation data, based on the actual breakthrough time, you can already ascertain whether a constituent fabric offers a barrier for the duration of the task. Where actual breakthrough times are less than the duration of the task, caution is needed. Our Techline experts are at your disposal for advice.
How shall I proceed when selecting chemical protective suits?
When selecting protective clothing, DuPont™ recommends taking four steps ensuring an appropriate selection and successful implementation. Those steps are: 1. Risk assessment: Before searching for protective clothing, it is recommended to do a detailed assessment of the nature of the hazard, the type of exposure and the working environment. 2. Defining the appropriate garment type: Once a risk assessment has been made the appropriate garment type can be defined. 3. Research: Since there’s a variety of limited-use protective clothing available in the market one should consider certain performance criteria for the garment selection process, such as for example, protection, durability, comfort, quality, compatibility with other personal Protective equipment, environmental compatibility, value for money and exposure to temperatures. Information on type certification, barrier performance and fabric physical properties can be gained from the use instructions supplied by the manufacturer while information on other properties, for example, user friendliness, protection performance in real applications amongst others can only be gained in a wear trial. 4. Testing for success: After having selected a chemical protective suit matching the analysed requirements it is recommended to carry out a wear trial under real working conditions to gain feedback from the employees. Furthermore, the employees feel integrated in the garment choice which may result in less acceptance problems when implementing the selected garment.
What does the permeation data tell me about a chemical protective suit?
The permeation data provides you information on the barrier a protective clothing material offers against a hazardous chemical. Permeation is determined by measuring the breakthrough time and the subsequent permeation rate of the chemical through the material. Permeation rate is defined as the speed at which the hazardous chemical permeates through the test material.
Breakthrough time is defined as actual and normalised breakthrough time. The actual breakthrough time is the time elapsed between initial contact of the chemical with the outside surface of the material and the detection of the chemical at the inside surface by the analytical device. An actual breakthrough time of > 480 minutes 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 less than the minimum detectable permeation rate. The normalised breakthrough time is defined as the elapsed time between initial contact of the chemical with the outside surface of the material and the time at which the chemical is detected at the inside surface of the material at a permeation rate of 1 µg /cm² .min (according to EN/ISO 6529, EN 369 or EN 374-3) and 0.1 µg /cm² .min (according to EN/ISO 6529/ASTM F739). A normalised breakthrough time of > 480 minutes means that the average permeation rate has never reached the defined rate (0.1 µg/cm².min or 1.0 µg/cm² .min) according to the referred norm. However, the chemical may have actually broken through.
Attention: The classification of permeation data – according to EN ISO 6529 – can refer to normalised breakthrough time at 0.1 µg/cm².min or 1.0 µg/cm².min. Therefore, we strongly recommend you verify at which normalised breakthrough time any performance classification ( e.g. class 1 to 6) is based.
However, breakthrough time alone is not sufficient to determine how long a garment may be worn once the garment has been contaminated. Safe user wear time may be longer or shorter than the breakthrough time depending on the permeation behaviour of the substance, the toxicity of the substance, the temperature and the exposure conditions. Permeation rates are temperature dependent and typically increase with temperature.
What is the difference between normalised and actual breakthrough time for a chemical protective suit?
Actual breakthrough time is the 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 by the analytical device. An actual breakthrough time of > 480 minutes 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 of eight hours. Permeation may have occurred, but at a rate less than the minimum detectable permeation rate of the analytical device. Normalised breakthrough time is the elapsed time between the 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 a permeation rate of 0.1 µg/cm².min (according to EN ISO 6529/ASTM F739) and of 1.0 µg/cm².min (according to EN/ISO 6529, EN 369 or EN 374-3). A normalised breakthrough time of > 480 minutes means that the average permeation rate has never reached the defined rate (0.1 µg/cm².min or 1.0 µg/cm².min) according to the referred norm. However, the chemical may have actually broken through.

Attention: The classification of permeation data – according to EN ISO 6529 – can refer to normalised breakthrough time at 0.1 µg/cm².min or 1.0 µg/cm².min. Therefore, we strongly recommend you verify at which normalised breakthrough time any performance classification (e.g. class 1 to 6) is based.
Which criteria are to be considered when selecting protective clothing?
Faced with a bewildering choice of many different chemical protective suits on the market which not all meet the same performance standards, it is important to check certain performance criteria to ensure the right protective suit is selected. DuPont™ recommends checking and comparing the key performance criteria, such as protection, durability, comfort, quality, compatibility with other personal protective equipment, environmental compatibility and value for money. Our quick checklist provides you helpful decision-making questions for your selection process.

It’s also important to verify the existence of the CE Certificate for the garment model, and the existence of the annual QA certification, (which simply put, verifies the ongoing conformity of the product with the original CE certification) according to article 11a or 11b by a notified body, and without which the products’ original CE Certificate can be considered obsolete.
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General Product Information

How can I select the right chemical protective garment?
Refer to our Garment Selection Brochure.
» Download PDF

How can I benefit from the Sales Team Service?
Click on Where to Buy to find a specialist in your area. A team of specialists is available to give direct assistance with hazard analyses and risk assessments as well as to offer advice on the selection of Tychem® chemical protective suits. You can also contact us via this form.
In which colours are Tychem® chemical protective suits available?
Tychem® C chemical protective suits are available in yellow, Tychem® F garments in grey and orange, Tychem® C2 garments in yellow and Tychem® F2 garments in grey.
In which sizes are Tychem® garments available?
Tychem® chemical protective suits are all available in S-XXL and some are available in S-XXXL.
What does limited re-use mean?
Limited re-use means that the chemical protective suit is designed in a way that it can be used more than once – provided there is no mechanical damage such as holes or open seams, that no chemical contamination has taken place and that the hygienic condition of the garment allows re-use. In case of damage or uncertainty the clothing should not be re-used but disposed of.
What does limited-use mean?
Limited-use means that the chemical protective suit is made to provide an optimised combination of adequate protection and comfort as needed for limited wear life usage. Limited-use clothing is typically employed to be worn until hygienic cleaning becomes necessary or chemical contamination has occurred and disposal is required. Limited-use protective clothing offers equivalent high protection and it doesn’t require decontamination since it will be disposed of after contamination or if hygienic reasons require disposal.
What does re-usable clothing mean?
Chemical protective suits are constructed from materials which allow the clothing to be decontaminated after repeated chemical exposure such that it is considered to remain suitable for continued use. The disadvantage of re-usable clothing is an existing uncertainty whether the decontamination process has removed all hazardous substance from the surface and the clothing itself. Even in the ideal case of removing all traces of hazardous agents from the clothing during decontamination, there might be the risk that the material structure of the clothing could have been altered by the chemical substance and/or by the decontamination process. In some cases the change in the material integrity might effect a serious reduction in the barrier properties of the fabric and might lead to a quick breakthrough of chemicals.
What is a Protective Clothing seminar about?
Seminars are held all over Europe covering general topics on chemical protective suits, CE-marking, garment selection but also protective clothing issues associated with specific applications.
What is the Techline?
The Techline is a Technical Hotline service where you can reach the DuPont™ experts who give you technical advice on the complete Tychem® chemical protective suit product range.

Tel.: 00352 621 164 043
link to Techline form
What is Tychem® C?
Tychem® C is a brand of protective material and protective clothing manufactured from it. The fabric is particle-tight, it provides protection against ultra-fine hazardous dusts and powders, many concentrated inorganic acids and bases and water-based inorganic salt solutions. Furthermore, Tychem® C resists liquids at pressures of up to 2 bar. Protection against biological hazards: Tychem® C meets the EN 14126:2003 requirements in the highest performance class.
What is Tychem® C2?
Tychem® C2 offers equal barrier to Tychem® C at higher mechanical strength.
What is Tychem® F?
Tychem® F is a brand of protective material and protective clothing manufactured from it. It is a lightweight chemical protection material with a high chemical barrier performance. It offers protection against many concentrated inorganic acids and bases and against a wide range of organic chemicals. Tychem® F resists liquids at pressures of 5 bar. Protection against biological hazards: Tychem® F meets the EN 14126:2003 requirements in the highest performance class.
What is Tychem® F2?
Tychem® F2 offers equal barrier to Tychem® F at higher mechanical strength.
Where can I find technical data for the Tychem® chemical protective suits?
In addition to this website technical information is available in the Technical Handbook.
What services does DuPont™ offer for chemical protective clothing?
DuPont™ offers a wide range of support to help specifying the appropriate chemical protective suits. The services include: Technical Hotline: Techline, permeation data, detailed technical product literature, garment selection and use and risk assessment assistance, end-user consultancy and tools, chemical protective clothing seminars as well as the e-DPP Newsletter to keep you informed on the latest news.
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Technical Information - Antistat

Are Tychem® chemical protective suits antistatically treated?
Tychem® C, Tychem® C2, Tychem® F and Tychem® F2 are antistatically treated on the inside surface only. Both materials meet surface resistivity criteria (according to EN 1149-1 to avoid incendiary discharge). Below 25% relative humidity of air the antistatic treatment may lose its dissipative properties.
How can Tychem® chemical protective suits be correctly grounded?
In general, garments must be correctly and continuously grounded. If the wearer of an antistatically treated garment is not connected to a grounded surface, the wearer/garment might remain charged.

Tychem® C and Tychem® F chemical protective suits can be grounded by wearing electrostatic dissipative shoes, walking on grounded floor and connecting the garment inside surface to shoes or by attaching a grounding cable to the garment inside surface. (Antistatic treatment on the inside surface only.)

It’s also important to consider that electrostatic charges may also build up on ancillary equipment such as breathing apparatus and other devices. Therefore those must be separately grounded when worn in conjunction with a garment.

Attention must be paid to the local humidity levels since in dry environments with a relative humidity below 25%, the antistatic finish may no longer function effectively.

For additional information as well as the usage of Tychem® chemical protective suits in ex-Zones, please contact the Technical help line.
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Technical Information - Barrier

What is the protection performance of Tychem® chemical protective suits for aerosols, liquids and gases?
Please contact our Technical Hotline Techline to discuss your specific questions.

For chemicals that can strongly vaporize and for protection against gases, type 1 garments (gas tight) are required.
Where can I find permeation data for Tychem® chemical protective suits?
Permeation Data is available at this website – please click here, to get linked directly. Furthermore, the data is included in the Technical Handbook.
What if my chemical has not been permeation tested?
In some cases, our chemists can make an assessment based on chemistry of similar products as to whether and which one of the DuPont™ barrier fabrics is likely to offer a suitable chemical barrier. In some instances, such an assessment may not be sufficient, in which case we can facilitate permeation testing for you with your chemical. Contact DuPont™ to set up an appointment.
What if I am using mixtures of chemicals?
Permeation characteristics of a mixture of chemicals can often deviate considerably from the behaviour of the individual chemicals. If protection against a mixture of hazardous chemicals is required, we recommend you contact the Techline Team for expert advice.
What is the useable temperature range of Tyvek® and Tychem® suits?
Take care with temperature:

Tychem® products are not flame resistant and should not be used close to fires, sparks, flames or sources of intense heat.

Tychem® seams will soften and open close to 90-98oC, so garments should not be worn when exposed to such temperatures. Do not steam clean the suits to decontaminate prior to doffing.
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Technical Information – Comfort

Are Tychem® chemical protective suits breathable?
Tychem® chemical protective suits are not air - or water vapour permeable due to their material structure.

The work place risk assessment should evaluate how long a wearer can work in a non-breathable suit. The environmental temperature, extent of the physical work, and physical health of the wearer should be considered. Frequent breaks and liquid refreshment should be taken into consideration.
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Technical Information – Temperature

How are Tychem® chemical protective suits affected by high temperature?
Tychem® C and Tychem® F garment seams open at 98°C.

Tychem® fabrics are not a thermal barrier, so to avoid injury, ensure correct undergarments are worn.
How are Tychem® chemical protective suits affected by low temperature?
Tychem® styles retain their flexibility down to –70°C.
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Working in Protective Clothing

How can I undress safely?
Ideally a second person dressed in a chemical protective suit and other appropriate personal protective equipment provides assistance. To avoid a contamination while undressing the following order is recommended:
  • If the garment is heavily contaminated it’s recommended to wet it in case of dust or to shower in case of liquid
  • Clean the outer gloves arm parts and zipper area of the garment by using wipes
  • Remove the outer glove while keeping on the inner glove
  • Open the zipper carefully
  • Remove the garment turning it inside out and pull it down to knees.
  • Pull your feet out of the garment carefully
  • Pull the garment together – inside out - so the garment can be disposed of
  • If wearing one, remove the mask
  • Remove the inner glove


Further information on the correct handling of chemical protective suits is available watching the video How to properly undress when wearing a Tychem® C & F garment.
How can secondary contamination be avoided?
Secondary contamination can be avoided when appropriate chemical protective suit has been selected for a specific task and precautions are taken when dressing and undressing to avoid any contamination after the actual exposure.
What are typical mistakes when working in chemical protective suits?
The following typical mistakes that can happen when working with chemical protective suits have been reported to us:
  • Opening of garment or mask while working in the risk zone
  • Interrupting the task and leaving the dangerous zone with contaminated garment and moving to other zones like offices
  • Carelessness of wearers with regard to hot surfaces, sparks or sharp edges.
  • Employees with a passive role in the dangerous zone often do not wear protective clothing
  • No or false grounding of garments due to insufficient knowledge or underestimation of risk of electrostatic charging
  • Under protection: wrong fabric selection or garment tightness level for the hazard
  • Loss of protection if the suit becomes abraded or damaged and is not changed.
What is secondary contamination?
Secondary contamination means that the contamination doesn’t occur at the actual exposure to the hazard but at a later stage. The contaminant can be transferred when undressing or during improper handling of the contaminated chemical protective suit and in consequence can reach the wearer’s skin and be inhaled at a later stage. This of course can cause health risks.
What is to be considered when working in explosive environments?
When working in explosive environments it is recommended to first control the relative humidity since in extremely dry environments with a relative humidity below 25%, the antistatic finish on the garments may no longer function. The chemical protective suit must be correctly and continuously grounded via electrostatic dissipative shoes, floor and / or grounding cable. If the wearer of an antistatically treated garment is not connected to a grounded surface, the wearer/garment might remain charged. For additional information as well as the usage of Tychem® protective clothing in ex-Zones, please contact the Technical Hotline Techline.
What’s the correct way to dress?
A proper dressing is a must for proper protection. There are a couple of steps to be considered:
  • Check if the place of dressing is contaminant free
  • Check the garment, check if type and size are appropriate, if the zipper is working and if the clothing material and seams are defect free
  • Check compatibility of other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with the protective suit selected as well as their functionality
  • Decide whether normal working clothing or special underwear shall be worn under the garment
  • Take off your shoes
  • First enter the garment with your feet then the arms and pull it over your back
  • Close the zipper up to chest high
  • Put on safety boots
  • Pull the garment leg over the boot
  • If a mask is required for the considered task one shall put it on at this stage following the instructions given by the mask manufacturer
  • Once the mask is put on, the hood is put on making sure that it fits tightly to the mask. Ideally a second person controls the tightness around the mask. If no second person is available it’s recommended to do the check with a mirror.
  • Close the zipper as far as possible and make sure that the zipper flap covers the entire zipper.
  • Put on the gloves (ideally inner and outer glove), if only one glove is used put the gauntlets below the sleeves.
  • For additional protection the hood can be taped to the mask and the gloves to the sleeves.
  • Furthermore it is recommended to tape the zipper flap.


Further information on the correct handling of chemical protective suits is available by watching the video How to properly undress when wearing a Tychem® C & F garment.
Which underwear is recommended by DuPont™?
Generally it is up to the wearer to decide on his/her personal underwear. For higher comfort we recommend the following:
  • wear at least one layer of underwear under the chemical protective suit
  • select underwear with long arms and legs
  • underwear made from traditional fabric such as blended woven structures
  • underwear made from high-performance fibres
Why is the size of the garment I’m wearing so important?
The size of the chemical protective suit selected is very important since proper fit is part of proper protection. Furthermore, a good fit ensures a protective suit is comfortable and avoids extra heat up which can be caused by too big suits. By poorly fitting garments either too small or too large you have an increased risk of tearing the garment and of being restricted in your movements or getting caught in machinery, which can adversely affect your ability to carry out your work safely. For further information, see our sizing chart.
How should I store my garments?
Store Tychem® garments in a cool, dark, dry location free of dirt and insects. Sunlight, ozone, high temperatures (>120° F), vehicle exhaust fumes, compression under heavy weights and sharp edges or projections are some conditions known to degrade the materials in these ensembles.

Store Tychem® garments in boxes, in bags or on hangers. Never step on chemical protective garments. Never place or store heavy objects on top of chemical garments.
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