Not all fire-resistant clothing is made from the same fabrics. There are multiple different choices available, and no choice is perfect. Each comes with different benefits and hazards. Each company is best served by choosing the fabric that will be most suited to their needs and working environment. What keeps an employee safe in one location may not be exactly what keeps an employee safe in another location.
Most flame-resistant clothing is made from fabrics that are a blend of several different materials. These materials are almost always synthetic. They have been carefully engineered and designed to be self-extinguishing and slow to ignite.
Here are a few of the common fibers with inherent flame-resistant qualities commonly used to create FR clothing.
Modacrylic: These are the most popular and common option available today. These fibers are often used as part of a blend to create several different flame-resistant fabrics. These various combinations of fibers work together to create fabrics that can easily stand up to several types of standards and regulations.
Nomex: This is another type of fiber that has inherent flame-resistant qualities. Unlike modacrylic fibers, Nomex can create FR garments on its own. It doesn’t have to be a standalone, however. It can also be combined with other materials such as Kevlar.
Kevlar: These fibers are certainly flame-resistant, but have many other additional properties such as high strength. Kevlar can create flame-resistant clothing, as well as many other different items. When used to make FR clothing, Kevlar is often combined with Nomex.
Each type of flame-resistant fabric will come with its own pros and cons. Kevlar, for instance, is extremely heavy-duty, but comes with a high price tag because of it. There are no specific flame-resistant clothing dangers, however, and all are designed to protect the wearer from hazardous heat-based conditions.
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