The stress testing of latex condoms by an air burst procedure has been slow in gaining industry acceptance because questions have been raised regarding the influence of the test apparatus on the likelihood of breakage occurring where the condom is attached to the inflation device. It was desired to locate the areas at which the condoms tend to burst and thus corroborate or disprove these claims. Several factors associated with the bursting condom demanded the use of special instrumentation to detect and study the burst initiation process. Microsecond duration electronic flashes were used for the initial stages of the investigation. Although the absolute point of initiation of a given burst could not be photographed, these high speed studies tend to indicate that the most likely place for high quality condoms to break is not where they are attached to the inflation device but at an intermediate area between the base and the tip of the condom. In addition, tear propagation characteristics and velocities were determined with a delayed-flash technique, a double-slit strip method and a rotating drum framing camera.
Department, Program, or Center
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)
Davidhazy, Andrew, "Determination of the burst initiation location and the tear propagation velocity during air burst testing of latex condoms" (1989). Mariposa Foundation Occasional Paper, no. 13 (),Accessed from
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