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5 Advantages of Single-use Sterile Cleanroom Apparel

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DuPont Controlled Environments (CE) garments, designed for single use, offer meaningful advantages in today’s challenging cleanroom environments.

DuPont™ Tyvek® IsoClean® single-use garments provide a more consistent fabric barrier and strength than reusable garments because they are not subjected to multiple cycles of wearing, laundering and sterilization. DuPont CE garments can also help minimize cross- contamination risk because they are clean-processed and packaged in a facility that handles only new garments.

One method to sterilize cleanroom garments is exposure to gamma radiation. But this also affects the polymer that makes up the garment. This effect is cumulative, so every time a garment is exposed to gamma radiation, additional changes to the polymer can occur.  

The effect of gamma radiation on polyester has been widely studied1, 2 and one typical reaction that occurs is known as chain scission. This means that “breaks” are created in the backbone of the polymer, shortening up the polymer molecule chains (see figure 1). These segments can also recombine and cross-link, linking together different polymer chains. With repeated exposure to gamma radiation, these changes can impact the performance of the polymer and garments.

To aid in your garment decision-making, DuPont is conducting a study to map the properties of polyester reusable garments compared to washing and gamma radiation exposure cycles.

For research, two different types of polyester woven garments typically worn in cleanrooms were purchased. They were laundered and exposed to gamma radiation in consecutive cycles. To expedite the study, the garments were not subjected to wear, only laundering and radiation exposure. The study plan calls

for garments to be evaluated after set numbers of cycles. It also provides for testing of critical performance properties at third- party laboratories. Some initial results from this study are shared here.


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