Are you in proximity to high-heat temperatures, flames, chemicals, and even more dangerous substances each day? Do you feel like you need more protection? Are you unsure which materials will keep your body protected?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, continue reading to learn about the different types and uses of fire-resistant fabrics.
What is Fire-Resistant Clothing?
Fire-resistant clothing is any piece of clothing material that’s designed to protect the wearer from thermal injury. FR clothing is a great line of defense for employees in occupations such as:
- Coal Mining
- Chemical and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
- Oil and Gas Refining
- Pulp and Paper Manufacturing
There are two categories of fabric that make up fire-resistant clothing: synthetic and natural fabrics.
Synthetic fabrics are artificial items created by chemists using a chemical reaction called polymerization to create enhanced, durable materials. People make synthetic fabrics to increase heat and fire resistance in comparison to naturally made fabrics.
There are some preconceptions about synthetic fabrics that might make you believe they aren’t a good FR material. Synthetic fabrics will not melt, drip, or stick to the skin as they begin to burn. There are many efficient synthetic FR fabrics to choose from.
Nomex is a synthetic fabric known for its high durability and FR ability. Nomex is made with a durable fabric that won’t tear or falter under pressure. Additionally, the material won’t react to water.
The process to create Nomex resembles the process of creating nylon and polyester, which are two very common synthetic fabrics. Yet Nomex is one of the strongest FR materials that can endure extreme heat exposure, including protecting against a direct flame!
Who Uses Nomex Fabrics?
Nomex is known for resisting oil, gasoline, and high temperatures. Some professionals that use Nomex fabrics are firefighters, welders, miners, military personnel, police officers, and even race car drivers! These occupations have a high risk of encountering dangerous temperatures and fires, therefore, Nomex fabrics are a great resource for individual protection.
Modacrylic fabric is made of synthetic copolymer. Although the material is similar to acrylics, modacrylic differs because it’s naturally flame resistant. It won’t melt or burn when exposed to high temperatures.
Unlike other synthetic fabrics, modacrylic can blend with other natural fabrics to enhance its durability in fabrics that don’t possess FR properties. As these fabrics blend, modacrylic’s FR abilities protects those natural fibers, thus creating a stronger overall FR fabric.
Since modacrylic blends with other natural fabrics, this is a great durable and comfortable clothing item. You’re capable of continuously wearing and washing your FR modacrylic clothing for years.
Who Uses Modacrylic Fabrics?
Modacrylic fabrics are commonly used by electricians, miners, and workers at oil, chemical and gas plants. Modacrylic is ideal for protecting oneself during flashfires, which the above occupations frequently encounter.
It’s best used in these conditions not only because of its flame resistance, but its resistance to various acids, chemicals, and abrasions. This durable material is resilient and will shield against potential burns.
Nylon is a strong synthetic material made from crude oil or petroleum. This chemical process creates a fabric with strong, stretchy fabrics that are fire-resistant and great for protection for various occupations.
Nylon has a strong resistance to igniting and burning. It’s also known to protect against various impacts and abrasions. With a high melting point and durable material, you can feel safe wearing this dependable fabric.
If you’re looking for something that will also hold up over time, nylon is a strong, reliable material that won’t fail you.
Who Uses Nylon Fabrics?
Nylon is a versatile fabric suitable for various professions. They are often used by electricians, oil and gas industry workers, and pulp and paper industry workers, to name a few.
Natural fabrics are items that are produced naturally and do not require chemical alterations during the manufacturing process. These organic items can be taken from the source, then developed into FR clothing. One of the best features about natural fabrics is that they have natural breathability, insulation, and ability to cool off the body.
There are a couple naturally occurring, fire-resistant fabrics that are incredible resources to choose from.
Cotton is one of the most commonly worn natural fabrics in the world. It’s a comfortable and breathable material, but did you know cotton is also fire resistant? Cotton is fire resistant without any sort of chemical treatments. Wearing something as simple as a cotton sweatshirt, shirt, or jacket decreases your chances of thermal injury.
Who Uses Cotton Fabrics?
Everyone can benefit from wearing cotton for FR purposes. Cotton is especially beneficial and protective when blended with synthetic fabrics such as modacrylic. Welders and manufacturing plant workers often include cotton clothing in their work gear.
Wool is the most FR natural fabric that is derived primarily from the fleece of sheep. It’s naturally high in components of water and nitrogen. These are both very important features to include when fighting against fires and protecting oneself from dangerously high temperatures.
Wool has a very slow burning rate, which means they’re difficult to ignite and don’t hold a long-lasting flame. At times, wool can even self-extinguish the flames! In addition, since wool is a naturally occurring material, wool won’t release any toxic emissions when exposed to heat and flames.
Who Uses Wool Fabrics?
Wool is a valuable natural material that’s safe to use for many high-risk occupations. Since the material is difficult to catch fire, this is an ideal material for various occupations exposed to any fires and explosives. Firefighters, military personnel, and first responders tend to include FR wool clothing in their work gear.
Fire-Resistant Clothing at L4 FR Clothing
After reading about the different types and uses of fire-resistant fabrics, your newfound knowledge will help you choose the right FR clothing. Even though clothing is fire-resistant, remember, some FR clothing materials can still catch fire. The purpose of FR fabrics is to act as an insulator to protect from further burning and damage.
If you’re in urgent need of fire-resistant clothing to help get you through a long workday, L4 FR Clothing is here to protect you! Our fire-resistant shirts are comfortable, breathable, and ready to stick by your side, so you can get through the workday without harm!