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How to Check Test Quality of Poly Coveralls

If you are using those white spunbound polyethylene coveralls at some point you might be considering buying another brand. Maybe you want to check the quality of other coveralls or maybe you want to do a cost comparison in hopes of saving money. Whether you are considering Alpha Guard, Alpha Pro Tech (same as Alpha Guard), Dupont Tyvek, 3M or other brands and manufacturers, you'll definitely want to do a comparison test of your current coverall versus the new brand you are considering buying.

So, how do you test the quality of white polyethylene coveralls? This is a hard question to answer as your company might use those white Tyvek or Tyvek-like coveralls in a different manner than the company I work for does.

Some wear polyethylene coveralls to protect clothing and skin from debris and other splatter (maintenance, site clean up, construction workers, etc). Others wear poly coveralls in a more clean room (or clean room-esque) environment where they want to avoid having any lint, strings from clothes, hair, etc fall off the person and into the product (food process workers, pharmaceuticals, etc)

So how do you test a potentially new brand of coverall? Well, first, let's presume you need the same style. For the sake of this article, we are talking serged seamed, spunbound, white, polyethylene coveralls that have elastic wrists and cuffs as well as a hood that fits via elastic snug around face.

Second, as a disclaimer, I can't say for sure this test method will work the same way for you. The way I test does not include any worry about hazardous chemicals or other hazard debris since we don't use any. If you are using dangerous chemicals or debris that can cause harm to a person, consult an available safety expert (your plant safety officer or contact manufacturer directly for advise). This person will likely ask for some sort of chemical comparability testing that I can not inform you on.

The only use I have for the coveralls is in an industrial environment where non hazardous inks might come in contact with our employees. We wear the coveralls to help them keep clean and to also help prevent any skin, hair, threads, etc from falling into the product.

Here are a couple of thoughts on how I compare two competitive coveralls to see if they are of equivalent quality

1. Take one of each kind of coverall and lay them side by side. Do they look to be the same size that you are already accustomed too?

2. Take your current coverall and try to tear it and note how easily it tears. You might want to try puncturing it too with your finger for example and note how easily it tears. Repeat the same step with the potential new coverall.

3. Look at the seams of each coverall. Do the appear sewn together well?

4. Look for loose threads. This is a big factor depending on what kind of business you are in. If the risk of a loose thread getting into your product is a big deal, check carefully. Some coverall manufacturers leave threads hanging on every product, others keep it pretty clean and tight with no threads.

5. Check the elastic wrists and ankles. Do they seem to be sewn well. Some makers do this part more sloppy with hanging threads and the end of the elastic hangs loose as well. Others are more tight.

6. Check for fit. Have your employees wear them. Are they easier or harder to put on? Get off? Do they fit well or too tight/loose? Do the elastic bands fit too snug or, worse, not snug at all?

7. Temperature. Also find out if the new coverall is too hot to wear. You'll always get real hot in a coverall but some are much worse (less breathable) than others. Take note of this as well.
I hope that helps. If you are one of the many users of Tyvek coveralls here is a brand that competes with Dupont Tyvek Coveralls.  Check it out as this might give you another option to look at to save money or improve performance on coveralls.


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