Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth P. Easter


The purpose of this study was to investigate the failures seen in the moisture barrier of fire fighting turnout gear. Moisture barriers taken from garments in field were evaluated to establish a baseline for comparison. Moisture barriers were exposed as part of a three-piece ensemble and as a single layer moisture barrier to instrumental light exposure in a Carbon Arc Fade-ometer and natural sunlight exposure according to AATCC and ASTM test methods. After exposure, moisture barriers were visually examined using stereo and compound microscopes. A performance measurement was conducted on the exposed moisture barriers using a modified NFPA Hydrostatic Water Penetration Resistance Test. Results of the instrumental and natural sunlight exposures were compared to the failed garments from the field.

The results showed that moisture barriers were degraded by ultraviolet light and replicated some of the results seen in the field to predict failures. Based on the results of this study, suggestions were made for future research for developing a test method for predicting moisture barrier failures.