Workers in industries like oil and gas, chemical factories, electric linemen, electricians, and firefighters face hazardous situations every day. They are at a risk of facing flash fires, explosions or electric shocks daily. It is essential for them to be prepared to face these dangers. Wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) keeps them safe and in case of accidents, it protects them and gives them time to escape from the danger. Flame- resistant (FR) clothing is a special type of PPE that is used by workers in these industries. So, what is FR clothing? How does this PPE protect the workers? What is FR clothing made of?
What is FR Clothing?
FR clothing protects the wearer from the danger of potential fire. They are designed from materials that have a property to self-extinguish i.e. the material stops burning as soon as the source of ignition is removed from it. For example, when a piece of paper is lit with a match, it will continue to burn even after the match is removed from its surface. But a self- extinguishing material will stop burning once the match is removed.
Thus, FR clothing made from self-extinguishing material will protect the wearer from getting burnt and also gives him the precious time needed to escape from the site of danger.
What is FR clothing made of?
Most FR clothing is made of a blend of many synthetic materials. The fabric is designed to have an inherent property of self-extinguishing. Some of the common fabrics that are used to make FR clothing are:
- Modacrylic- This is the most common fabric used in FR clothing. It is blended with different materials to form FR fabrics.
- Nomex- Nomex fibres are inherently fire-resistant. They can be used independently or in a blend to manufacture FR clothing.
- Kevlar- It is the strongest of the FR fabrics. It is usually combined with Nomex to make FR clothing.
All these materials have a set of strengths and weaknesses. Depending upon their combination the property of the FR clothing will change. But all of them protect the wearer from the fire accidents.
Types of FR Clothing
Based on whether the FR clothing has inherent fire-resistant property or have been converted to fire-resistant material they are categorized into:
- Fire- Resistant clothing- They are made of inherently fire-resistant fabrics like Kevlar, Nomex, Modacrylic or a blend of these.
- Fire- Retardant clothing- They are made from flammable fabrics that are treated with flame retardants. The flame retardants change the composition of the fabric and make them flame resistant. In most cases, the base material is 100% cotton or a combination of 80%cotton or 20% nylon.
With the advance in technology, the performance of both types of FR clothing is equal. A choice can be made between the two based on durability and comfort, as this varies with the blend of fabrics and type of treatment used.
Though FR clothing is bulky and not very comfortable, it is life-saving clothing. It reduces the risk of getting workers getting burnt. ‘Better to be safe than sorry’ should be the base guideline of industries that have a high risk of fire accidents. What Is Fire Resistant Clothing Made Of is what makes FR clothing effective. It is essential that the industries provide safety equipment to the workers and make the workplace as safe as possible.
Unito is a brand known for the manufacturing of uniforms, workwear, and special protective clothing. We are a 30-year-old company that has been focused on exporting high-quality clothing needs of various industries from the past decade. We now want to cater to Indian industries and serve them with clothing of superior quality and innovative designs. We are a part of Kolkata based Chandramukhi Impex Limited, which has a total workforce of 500 employees.