2. Fabric Structure
The fabric used for protective clothing is different in order to obtain protection for different purposes. In Type 5 and Type 6 certified protective clothing, there are two common fabric options in the market, one is Multi-layer SMS fabric, while the other is PP nonwoven with a Laminated Film.
The Multi-layer SMS fabric is a good choice for the protection of particulates. It has minimum 3 layers, and the middle layer, which provides good particulate filtration is known as melt-blown. The fabric also usually provides good air permeability. For the wording SMS, it is the combination of fabric structures, which is Spunbond (S), Melt-blown (M) and Spunbond (S). Some suppliers may offer different combinations, namely SMMS or SMMSSMS. But after all, it is the melt-blown layer that provides filtration features on hazardous particulates.
The other common fabric in the market is “Laminated Film on PP nonwoven”. With the microporous film, it provides protection against liquid or fluid penetration, such as water drip, mud, liquid spray or splash. It usually provides better protection for both particulate and liquid hazards compare with SMS fabric. Depending on the film formula and material technology, not only as a liquid barrier, while the microporous film also let the air or moisture can go through.