The Science Behind Fire Resistant Clothing

The Science Behind Fire Resistant Clothing

Fire-resistant clothing, also known as FR clothing, are mainly designed for protecting wearers from flames, extreme heat, and explosions. These clothes will not catch fire easily; even if they do, they don’t spread fast. It extinguishes itself and provides enough time to the wearer to get away from that environment.

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The Science Behind Fire Resistant Clothing

In industries where the employees tend to get injured of fire, heat or electricity, these FR clothing are a must. Also, it has been made compulsory in many companies and industries, keeping the safety of the workers in mind.

But how many know the science behind how these fire-resistant clothes work. Also, what materials are used and why they are used? To answer these questions, a list of scientific validation of these FR clothes is followed:

1) The self-extinguishing fabric:

This FR clothing by resisting ignition and self-extinguishing while exposed to the fire protects the wearer. It is made up of 100% pure cotton, and that resist the fire to spread faster. Also, it is a well-known fact that cotton doesn’t catch fire quickly; it takes time.

Hence, this particular fabric, blended with several other chemicals, provides enough time to the wearer to get away from the situation. That is why this fire retardant clothing is said to be slow-burning and self-extinguishing.

There are some other most popular fabrics as well that are used for their flame-resistant qualities. Those are modacrylic, Nomex, and Kevlar.

2) Solid-state technology:

The solid-state technologies are applied to the fabrics used to manufacture fire-resistant clothing. This technology resists ignition by creating a solid char. Due to this, a barrier is created between the fabric and char.  These technologies are applied in two ways.

One, an FR coating is applied on the surface of the treated fabrics. But the FR coating does not stick to the fabric permanently. Second, the FR coating is applied to the surface of engineering fabrics. There it creates a permanent bond with the fabrics.

These technologies can also be used to protect the wearer from molten metal splash, welding exposure, electric arc flashes or flash fires.

3) Thermally stable technology:

Inherent or thermally stable fibers are difficult to melt by fire, decompose or breakdown under extreme heat. As a result of this, no flame can burn the fabric and gets quickly self-extinguished. These thermally stable technologies do not get washed off.

Also, it is a strong, long-lasting, and tear-resistant FR protection. When this technology is amalgamated with other FR technologies coated fabric like nylon, polyester, rayon or cotton. They become much more durable and create stronger protection against short-term thermal hazards.

4) Fuel-activated or gas-state technology:

This gas-state the technique also known as fuel-activated, FR technology helps in eliminating fuels produced by the fire. It traps those radical molecules created by the flame. When it is brought to heat, the molecules break and get bind to the radicals that the flame produces. This whole procedure not only reduces the fire’s fuel but stops the flame’s chain from spreading or reacting.

This type of technology is mainly preferred for electrical industries. This gas-state technology proves to be advantageous when it comes to protecting from arc flashes. Also, these fibers can be mixed with non-FR fibers that make the technology available at a lower price.

So, these are the scientific techniques that are used to manufacture these FR clothing. Their aim is to protect the employee not only by resisting the fire fuel chain but also to be comfortable, breathable, and easy to move. So that it doesn’t bother or make the wearer feel uncomfortable while working. 

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