The safety equipment and clothing industry are worth billions. There are thousands of products and manufacturers fighting to get a piece of the pie. You may be asking yourself, how does flame-resistant clothing work?
Knowing even a little will help you make a better decision about them. For professionals that work in high-heat environments, flame-resistant clothes are a necessity. The clothes shed heat, providing some of the highest amounts of protection.
So let’s get into how this type of clothing works to keep you safe.
What is Flame Resistant Clothing?
Flame resistant (FR) clothing is made from materials that are non-flammable. Treated with a flame retardant chemical. The most common FR fabrics are wool, cotton, and synthetic fibers. Such are nylon, Kevlar, and modacrylic. FR clothing is for firefighters, electricians, and workers in oil and gas extraction. Also in refining, and chemical manufacturing.
The Science of Fire Resistant Fabrics
They explain how these materials protect people from fire. Flame resistant materials are manufactured from synthetic fibers treated with chemicals. Make them resistant to fire.
The chemicals used to treat these fabrics include halogens, phosphorus, and nitrogen. These chemicals create a barrier. This prevents oxygen and other flammable gases from reaching and igniting it.
Flame resistant clothing is from materials designed to resist burning and melting. when exposed to high temperatures. The fibers in the fabric are treated with chemicals or other substances . that make them more resistant to heat.
Types of FR Clothing
There are two main types of flame resistant (FR) clothing: passive and active. Passive FR clothing is from materials resistant to burning. Such are wool or certain synthetics.
Active FR clothing is of materials that will not burn. But extinguish themselves when exposed to an open flame. It is used in hazardous occupations like oil and gas production. It is from a fire retardant-treated cotton or synthetic blend.
FR Clothing Made for Fire Exposed Occupations
FR clothing is made to protect workers in industries where they are exposed to fire or electric arcs. Such are firefighters, welders, chemical laboratories. Also for power plant operators, race track drivers, and the like.
The fabric is designed to self-extinguish. When it comes into contact with an ignition source. FR clothing does not melt or drip when exposed to fire, and it protects the wearer from burns.
The Care and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Clothing
Proper care and maintenance of flame-resistant clothing are essential to ensure its efficacy.
Fire resistant fabrics can be laundered in a home washing machine. Using regular detergent. But, it is foremost to read the care label to ensure that the garment is compatible with the detergent.
Use the correct water temperature. Flame-resistant clothing should be dried. Or tumble-dried on low heat to avoid damaging the fabric.
While FR clothing is a piece of personal protective equipment. It is only effective if maintained.
FR clothing must be cleaned to remove any dirt, grease, or other materials. That could reduce its effectiveness. It is paramount to inspect FR clothing for any damage. That could compromise its fire resistance.
FR clothing must be replaced if it is damaged or no longer effective.
A Fiery Note
Flame resistant clothing is an important safety measure. For people who work with open flames or hazardous environments. When worn, it can help protect workers from serious burns.
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