Shelf life is typically quoted for products or materials which contain components that are expected to degrade and/or lose their performance effectiveness after a period of time. Kappler is not aware of an accepted industry standard for determining shelf life of chemical barrier fabrics.
Under proper storage conditions, stored away from direct sunlight, preferably in a cool, dry location that is not subjected to extreme hot or cold conditions, there is no evidence to indicate the Zytron® film composite fabrics lose their protective characteristics or physical properties over time. This conclusion is based on the naturally aged Zytron® fabric over the last twenty years. Twenty year old Zytron® 500 has been tested against the ASTM F1001 list of twenty one chemicals with no breakthrough in >480 minutes. Aged fabric has also been tested for physical properties and still meets manufacturing specifications.Based on this information, Kappler considers the shelf life of Zytron® products to be undetermined.
Chemical protection suits contain components made from various polymer or rubber materials for which there is no specific shelf life data currently available. The garments may therefore be used as long as they are deemed safe after a visual inspection, and, in the case of vapor protective (Level A) garments, after passing the ASTM F1052 pressure test. It is recommended that downgrading suits to "Training Use Only" be considered when they no longer pass the visual inspection and/or pressure test.
It is the responsibility of the wearer to ensure that all components, including fabric, valves, visors, gloves, zippers, seams, and suit-to component interfaces are in good working condition, and provide adequate protection for the operation and chemicals to be encountered. Any suit which does not pass the visual and/or pressure test, should be immediately removed from service.