Chemical suit seams are of utmost importance. The protection afforded by the fabric is often times negated by poor seams and leaky interfaces. There are various types of seam construction that provide varying degrees of protection. Below is a brief description of the four main seam constructions that are used in chemical suit manufacturing.
Seam Seal International can offer both an exclusive Chemical tapes and Ultrasonic Machinery and welding wheel pattern combinations.
Our Chemical tapes have been submitted to a battery of chemicals using the ASTM F903, which is the standard test for penetration where openings might exist such as seam needle holes.
Serged seam: Appropriate for low-level exposures, but not suitable for skin-absorbable or skin-toxic chemicals. A serged seam joins two pieces of material with a thread stitch that interlocks. It is typically used on limited-use clothing where dry particulates, non-toxic dirt, dusts and a low concentration of residual contamination are involved.
Bound seam: The next level up, this is a serged seam with material folded over the edge and sewn on for a higher degree of protection against liquids and dry particulates. The seam is chain stitched or lock stitched through all of the layers for a clean finished edge.
Ultra-sonic seam: Offering yet a higher level of protection, this is a seam without thread – no holes are sewn. Used widely in the medical field and to a lesser degree in the industrial arena, this seam can be liquid-proof and is good for higher splash exposure.
Seam tapped: The highest performing and highest cost seam, this seam is sewn and then hot air sealed using a welded seam tape. The impervious seal provides a liquid-proof seam and should be used when working with a high concentration chemical. Heat-sealed seams are well suited for Level A, Type 1 and B and Type 2 chemical protective clothing.