Our laboratory

We have invested in a lab that has the same equipment as a certifying organization. It gives us, as Sioen, the unique advantage to be able to study and test all the components present on the market. 

Up to this day more than 1000 complexes were tested at the demand of our customers or in the pursuit of innovation. At the same time we can also validate the washing instructions of the equipment in the lab. 

Sioen can therefore provide answers for market demands that are certified by European (CE) or international (ISO) tests. Innovation remains at the core of our activities.

Sioen can rely on the competent and dynamic team of the Research and Development department. In our laboratory they test all our raw materials: 

Thanks to all these elements Sioen has the largest data base of the market which enables us to offer a precise and adapted answer to all the questions of our customers. 

We have the largest range of protection complexes from the lightest and the most resistant to the most protective complexes.  

Our washing laboratory

The EN 469 standard imposes a minimum of 5 washes for textile suits. Our clients, however, are often far more demanding.
Thanks to the research and the tests we performed in our industrial laundry, our suits offer, after 25 washes at 60°C, the same protection as a new suit and look just the same. 

In our lab we can perform notably the following tests: 

Limited flame spread

EN ISO 15025:2002

This test measures the limited spread of flames of vertically oriented textile fabrics (one or several layers), when subjected to a flame. 

A defined flame is applied for 10 seconds to the surface of the fabric, whereopun one ascertains:

  • whether the flame reaches the edge of the tested fabric
  • how long the flame persists
  • whether the incandescence spreads
  • whether there are burning remains
  • whether a hole is formed.

Heat transmission on exposure to a flame of 80kW/m2

EN 367

This test defines a method to compare the HEAT TRANSFER INDEX (HTI) of materials and material assemblies. 

Each fabric sample is exposed horizontally to an intensive heat flux of 80kW/m².

The heat which passes through the fabric(s) is measured with a copper calorimeter.
The average value of 3 tests is calculated.

  • 12°C.
    HTI12° correlates with the threshold of pain of a human being (first degree burns).
  • 24°C.
    HTI24° correlates with second degree burns of the human skin (blisters).

HTI24-HTI12 is the reaction time between +12°C and +24° C.

The EN 367 test indicates 2 performance levels in the EN 469 standard: a lower protection level, Xf1 and a higher protection level Xf2. 

Exposition to a radiant heat of 40kw/m2

EN ISO 6942

The EN ISO 6942 test exposes the fabrics to an intensive radiant heat of 40kW/m2 and determines the values of the RHTI12 (first degree burns) and the RHTI 24 (second degree burns) and those of the RHTI24-RHTI12 as reaction time. 

The EN ISO 6942 indicates two performance levels in the EN 469 standard: a lower protection level Xr1 and a higher protection level Xr2. 

Tensile strength of outer fabrics after exposition to a radiant heat of 10 kW/m2 in accordance with EN ISO 6942 

EN ISO 13934-1

The fabrics are tested after a preceding treatment and after exposure to a radiant heat flux of 10 kW/m2. The resistance of the fabric has to be higher than 450 N to guarantee resistant garments. 

Thermal resistance of every material at 180° C

ISO 17493

During the ISO 17493 test all the materials are exposed to a temperature of 180°C for 5 minutes. Not one of the materials of the garment (fabrics, zippers, thread, stripings...) can inflame, melt or present a shrinkage higher than 5 %.
The used accessories have to function at the end of the test. 

Tensile strength

EN ISO 13934-1 (outer fabric)

During the test the material has to present a minimum tensile strength of 450 N. 

EN ISO 13935-2 (seams)

The principal seams of the outer material have to present a minimum tensile strength of ≥ 225 N.

Tear strength

EN ISO 13937-2

The outer material has to present a minimum tear strength of 25 N when the fabric already presents a tear. 

Spray test

EN 24920

This standard indicates the water repellency of outer fabrics.
The test materials have to be washed and dried in accordance with the specifications of the manufacturer before the testing.
The outer material has to reach a minimum score of 4 (5 being the highest score). The test has to be performed even when the complex has a waterproof barrier.

Dimensional deviation

ISO 5077

This test makes sure that the materials won't shrink or deform after they have been washed. 
The dimensional deviation has to be equal to or lower than + or - 3 % in both directions after 5 washing and drying cycles. Every material layer (or the different components of an assembly for multi-layered garments) has to be tested individually and in the assembly.  

Resistance to penetration by liquid chemicals

EN ISO 6530

The materials have to be washed and dried in accordance with the specifications of the manufacturer before being tested. 
The chemical products are applied for 10 s. The assembly can on no account present penetration in the inner surface (penetration 0 %) whilst te repulsion has to be more than 80 %.  

The chemicals that are used:

NaOHsodium hydroxide40%
HCIhydrochloric acid36%
H2SO4sulphuric acid30%
O-xylene 100%

Water vapour resistance

EN 31092

The entire assembly is tested to verify the breathability of the complex. This standard determines 2 levels of resistance limiting breathability:

  1. Level 1 = Z1

    higher than 30 Pa/W m² (< 45 Pa/W m²)
    The water vapour resistance is high, the garment has a poor breathability. The EN 469 warns that a high water vapour resistance can involve an increased risk on burns caused by water vapour.  
  2. Level 2 = Z2

    ≤ 30m² Pa/W
    A lower water vapour resistance, the garment has a better breathability. It has to be noted that suits without membrane are far more breathable (< 10m²Pa/W)

Water penetration resistance

EN 20811

This test submits the complex to hydrostatic pressure. The water penetration resistance has to reach one of the next levels: 

  1. Level 1 Y1 < 20 kPa
    for the parts of the garment without waterproof barrier
  2. Level 2 Y2 ≥ 20 kPa
    for the parts of the garment with waterproof barrier