- Chemical protective barrier
- Solvent transport properties
This study was conducted in response to one of the research needs of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), i.e. the application of nanomaterials and nanotechnology in the field of occupational safety and health. In order to fill this important knowledge gap, the equilibrium solubility and diffusion of carbon tetrachloride and ethyl acetate through carboxylated nitrile butadiene rubber (XNBR)-clay nanocomposite, as a promising new material for chemical protective gloves (or barrier against the transport of organic solvent contaminant), were examined by swelling procedure. Near Fickian diffusion was observed for XNBR based nanocomposites containing different amounts of nanoclay. Decontamination potential is a key factor in development of a new material for reusable chemical protective gloves applications, specifically for routine or highly toxic exposures. A thermal decontamination regime for nanocomposite was developed for the first time. Then, successive cycles of exposure/decontamination for nanocomposite were performed to the maximum 10 cycles for the first time. This result confirms that the two selected solvents cannot deteriorate the rubber-nanoclay interaction and, therefore, such gloves can be reusable after decontamination.