Fire Resistant Clothing Materials: Thermal Hazard Protection

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For many professionals, flame resistant (FR) clothing is an essential tool for the job. High-quality FR garments protect the wearer from burns caused by flash fires, electric arcs, and combustible dust. This allows professionals in several industries to tackle potentially dangerous tasks. Over the years, fire resistant clothing has saved countless people from serious injury and even saved lives. Flame-resistant clothing is used in many professions including the fire service, research labs, electrical utilities, and oil and gas. Workers in all of these areas often face the potential for explosions, open fires, and other thermal incidents, so the materials of fire resistant clothing are essential they’re properly protected when they’re on the job.

Importance of Fire Resistant Clothing Materials

Flame-resistant clothing refers to any garments that are specifically designed to protect the wearer from flames and thermal injury. Fire Resistant Clothing Materials resists ignition and self-extinguishes once the source of the ignition is removed. This helps to prevent burns from both initial exposure to the flames and from residual heat transfer. When exposed to fire or an explosion, a lot of fabrics will ignite and continue to burn. Some will also melt onto the wearer’s body. This can cause significant injuries as textile fires often burn longer and result in more damage than the initial incident.

The Elements of Fire Resistant Clothing Materials

Most FR clothing is made from material that is designed to be resilient to heat. Materials like Nomex, Kevlar, and Modacrylic have excellent flame-resistant qualities and are commonly used to make elements of FR garments.

What Materials Are Utilized in Fire-Resistant Clothing?

Lots of materials have fire-retardant properties. You can find fire-retardant workwear for a range of purposes using these materials:

  • Treated cotton or nylon: This material is made by treating a pre-woven fabric with a chemical flame retardant.
  • Treated 100% rayon: Rayon is a man-made cellulose fibre that can be treated while fibres are formed. Treated rayon resists flames for the lifetime of the garment.
  • Treated cotton & Modacrylic: Modacrylic is a synthetic fabric that is almost flame-resistant.
  • Nomex: Nomex does not need to be blended with cotton to create a wearable fabric, although it can be combined with other materials for additional useful properties. It is inherently flame retardant, and the FR feature would not be washed away and it would be permanently existing in the fabric.
  • Kevlar: Kevlar is often used in protective clothing thanks to its strong fibres, but it also offers flame-resistant applications. It would be not only flame retardant but also blade cut resistant and abrasion resistant.
  • Wool: Wool is a relatively flame-retardant choice, it may self-extinguish when slowly catches fire. It also has useful properties that make it ideal for workwear, such as water resistance and some antimicrobial tendencies.

Flame-resistant clothing is specially designed so that it’s less likely to catch fire when exposed to combustion and high temperatures. In cases where the fabric does ignite, it won’t continue to burn once the heat source is removed. This gives the wearer valuable escape time and helps to minimize injuries. However, it’s important to remember that flame resistant doesn’t mean fireproof, and all flame-resistant clothing will burn if it’s heated for a long enough period of time.

Read more:
Flame Resistant vs Flame Retardant: Differences Need To Know
How to Wash Fire Resistant Clothing? Essential Care Guidelines