Degradation of Fabric Properties Due to Chlorine Exposure
Swimwear fabrics are manufactured using a variety of fibre combinations and fibre types. The fabric properties can be very dependent on the fibre content and types of fibres used in the fabric. Some fabrics are more sensitive to exposure to chlorinated water than others which might result in a loss in strength coupled with an increase in stretch and decrease in recovery.
Although many swimmers will find a garment acceptable even with a loss in strength, consumer’s expectations of swimwear from performance clothing brands and swimwear for frequent use are that the products will maintain their initial stretch and strength properties for a greater period of time.
If fabrics lose their elasticity and strength quickly, brand image and performance claims can be devalued. Therefore, the fibre industry and performance companies have driven the demand for test results that can be used to validate performance claims and support client expectations.
Test results can be used to evaluate performance as well as to compare different elastomeric fibres used in swimwear products.
The Test Principle The principle of the test is to analyse how well a fabric retains its elastomeric and strength properties after exposure to simulated conditions of swimming pool water over a period of time. Testing can be tailored to fit the clients’ end requirements by varying the hours of exposure.
The test examines stress decay of the fabric or item resulting from exercise and the length of time of exposure as well as the recovery performance of the fabrics.
SGS Leicester (UK) is proud to be able to offer this specialized testing for the analysis of elastomeric and strength properties of fabrics. This specific test is offered exclusively at SGS Leicester (UK) and is unlikely to be performed at any other third party laboratory in the world.
Test costs – Testing is typically done in each fabric direction (length/width or warp/weft) for an average of 200 hours of exposure. The actual cost will be charged per fabric direction and will vary depending on the parameters chosen by the client. All testing parameters will be developed during client consultation and the costs will be quoted by project.
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