Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess photodegradation rates and resistance of emergency tourniquet webbings with lab-controlled UV light exposure and ultimate tensile strength (UTS) pull testing.
Methods: Two commercial non-pneumatic tourniquets were selected: the North American Rescue LLC CAT Tourniquet Gen 7 (CAT) and the OMNA Inc. Marine Tourniquet Gen 2 (OMT). Five webbing samples of each tourniquet were dissected from whole tourniquets, conditioned per ASTM G-155 protocols, separated into three distinct exposure groups, and placed in a Xenon Arc Chamber for exposure. The groups were the following: control (0 hours of UV exposure), three months (250 hours of UV exposure), and six months (500 hours of UV exposure). Once the exposure time limit was complete, the sample groups were removed from the Xenon test chamber and pull tested to failure to determine UTS, which was measured in pounds per square inch.
Results: The average CAT tourniquet UTS for control samples was 8,820 psi; three months, 7,130 psi; and six months, 1,140 psi. The average OMT tourniquet UTS for control samples was 9,260 psi; three months, 9,040 psi; and six months, 7,810 psi. The mean percentage loss of tensile strength for the CAT tourniquet webbing was −19% at three months and −87% at six months. In contrast, the mean percentage loss of tensile strength for the OMT tourniquet webbing was −2% at three months and −16% at six months.
Conclusion: The OMNA Marine Tourniquet Gen 2 webbing demonstrated significantly more photodegradation resistance and maintenance of tensile strength compared to the CAT Tourniquet Gen 7 webbing.