The term flame-resistant fabric alludes to infused textiles with chemical treatments and incombustible fibers resulting in the production of material that naturally burns slower. There is no denying the significance of this material; particularly in certain careers and programs. Let us review the more common ones in an effort to make for an easier selection process.
The Inherent flame-resistant fabric has the resistance inculcated into their actual structure during production. When these particular materials come into contact with heat or flame, the infused fibers swell naturally and form a barrier of protection over the skin. The most-popular brand names that fall into this category are Nomex and PBI Gold-typically applied through flash fire, and GlenGuard and Comfort MP-whose application process consists of arc flash and flash fire. The consistent link in this material group is in its design; the resistance lies in its structure and no flame resistant substance is added after the weaving and production process. The result being that the protection it offers is fulsome and not easily worn out or compromised.
The Treated flame-resistant fabric is the opposite in this regard. Unlike the inherently flame-resistant textiles, the treated material is made flame resistant after production through the use of the required chemicals. This chemical, when exposed to fire, results in a reaction that fights the flame, causes it to self-extinguish and ultimately provides protection for the body. A few of the brand names that fall into this category are Ultrasoft, Phoenix FR and Amplitude. The disadvantage for this group is that its flame resistant properties are added after production; which minimizes its durability and increases the chance of being compromised with the application of chlorine bleach.
Pertinent in the selection of your flame-resistant fabric is the environment in which it will be used and the frequency with which the clothes will be worn. Be thorough in your checks, bearing in mind that the decision will impact you, the team and their families. Be sure to consider the application process, the fabric weight and durability and how appropriately it will all fit in with your team or program.
The information contained on this site is for general guidance only and are opinions of the author. It is the reader’s responsibility to consider these details and understand the data should not be used as a substitute for your industry’s recognized safety standards or be used to take the place of safety training or hazard analysis. You should neither act, nor refrain from action, on the basis of any such information. You should take appropriate professional advice on your particular circumstances because the application of laws and regulations will vary depending on particular circumstances and because laws and regulations undergo frequent change.