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October 29, 2019

Industrial Laundry Test Method Development Initiated in ASTM F23

ASTM F23 has approved a new Work Item (WK69917) to develop a Standard Test Method for Industrial Laundry of FR Clothing under the technical direction of Dr. Bill Baitinger.  The task group will hold its first meeting at F23’s February 4-5, 2020 meeting in Atlanta, GA.

There is currently one standardized procedure for simulating industrial laundry of FR clothing in a laboratory setting.  NFPA 2112 section 8.1.3 outlines a method of industrial laundry for fabrics and garments prior.  However, that Standard has several flaws that can cause problems with its use. The equipment is only vaguely described and is in some cases inaccurate. 

In addition to equipment issues, the chemistry identified in NFPA 2112 is outdated based on what is currently used in industrial laundry. Although a handful of US States provide exemptions for commercial laundry applications, many states have banned the use of phosphorous-containing cleaning agents.  Likewise, most (if not all) industrial laundry contractors have removed the acid sour step from their programs. However the NFPA 2112 protocol still calls for both. 

Industrial Laundry Test Method – Targeted Improvements

The new Work Item at ASTM aims to develop a laboratory-based Test Method to replicate more current industrial laundry practices.  Targeted highlights of such an updated method would include:

Industrial Washing Machine for Laboratory Testing
  • Apparatus specificity – drum dimensions, drum volume, water temperatures and fill levels
  • Evolution to modern chemistry, representative of real-world application
  • All-liquid chemistry – allows metered injection of chemistry for better automation and consistency.
  • Consideration for multiple wash cycles, with limited dry cycles.

ArcWear Launches Test Method Research Consortium

Beyond the development of a Standard Test Method within the ASTM process, a considerable amount of research and validation is required. Standards like NFPA 2112 require extensive vetting of any new test method. As a contributing member, ArcWear is leading a Research Consortium to conduct these validation studies. The Consortium is seeking other participating members with a requested contribution of $1,000.

All funds will support research efforts to develop and validate the test method.  If sufficient funds are collected, a stretch goal of the Consortium is to support a Textiles Graduate Student project to conduct the necessary studies.

For more information, or to contribute to the Research Consortium, please contact any member of our team:

Hugh Hoagland Brian Shiels Bill Baitinger

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