Process auditing extends the service life of warning and electrostatic discharge clothing

Published: 26-Nov-2014

Hohenstein Institute develops new treatment process for commercial laundries

The Hohenstein Institute in Germany has developed a new process audit to help commercial laundries improve the way they clean warning and electrostatic discharge (ESD) clothing, especially in the contract laundering sector. The audit is intended for customer-specific treatment processes, but applies regardless of the manufacturer of the textiles being processed.

For personal protective equipment (PPE) warning clothing, the audit uses a new test fabric consisting of standard commercially available woven and knitted fabric in all three fluorescent warning colours (yellow, orange-red and red) and including the retro-reflective tape.

This test fabric is soiled with up to six stains containing dense oil and soot particles and is put through the customer's cleaning process 25 times. Standardised tests in accordance with DIN EN ISO 20471 are then carried out on the test fabric at the Hohenstein Institute.

By analysing the light density factor, the colour shades and the greying, conclusions can be drawn about the resistance of the PPE's functionality.

As well as using the test fabric, all aspects of the washing and drying processes such as thermal and mechanical characteristics and the use of chemicals and detergents are analysed. If necessary, experts at the Hohenstein Institute can offer advice on site on how to optimise these.

For professional ESD clothing, a commercially available test coverall goes through the customer's cleaning process, again 25 times. The coverall then undergoes standardised tests in accordance with DIN Norm 61340-5-1 and its protective functionality is examined. Here too, Hohenstein consultants can help to improve the cleaning process on site on the basis of the analysis.

The commercial laundries receive a certificate confirming that their cleaning process is set up in such a way that the protective function and service life of the PPE or ESD clothing are preserved and extended.

This certificate is valid for a year and provides evidence that the commercial laundry offers maximum effectiveness in its cleaning processes.

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