Since their main introduction in the oil and gas industry 50 years ago, fire-retardant (FR) garments have become increasingly in demand. The technology behind FR fabrics has likewise evolved and developed, with the two most common forms of FR protection consisting of FR chemical treatments and inherent FR fibres.
Carrington Textiles, a leading global supplier of FR fabrics, has shared with the PCIAW® how their FR treatments offer wearers outstanding protection, and what advantages their FR solutions have over other alternatives.
Creating Effective FR treatments with Carrington Textiles
The advantages of FR treatments over inherent FR
Carrington Textiles offer a wide range of multinorm flame-retardant fabrics, supplying the oil and gas, utilities, automotive and aerospace industries for decades. The company’s flame-retardant range is predominantly treated, and each product is tested to the highest industry standards for protection, durability, and comfort.
Treated flame-retardant fabrics are often less expensive to produce, using readily available fabrics such as cotton, polyester, and nylon. These treated fabrics behave similarly to inherent FR equivalents, so processes like industrial laundering won’t reduce their effectiveness unless the fabric is bleached.
Another advantage of FR treatment is that it does not degrade under UV exposure, unlike some inherent flame-retardant fabrics, while offering excellent wearer comfort.
Carrington Textiles’ new Flamestat 250 is a great example of the advantages of FR treatment. Flamestat 250 is a lightweight multifunctional product with a high cotton content for comfort, combined with polyester for durability. The product is industrially launderable and certified to several flame-retardant, antistatic, and chemical splash standards.
Safe, certified, and protective
Carrington Textiles’ products go through a rigorous testing process to guarantee the protective performance of its products. The company’s range of flame-retardant products undergo relevant tests for each of these standards:
- EN ISO 11611
- EN ISO 11612
- EN ISO 14116
- AS/NZS 4824:2021
- BS EN ISO 15384:2020
- NFPA 2112
- EN 1149-1
- EN 1149-3
- EN 1149-5
- EN 61482-1-1
- EN 61482-1-2
- EN 61482-2
- EN 13034
- EN 20471
- EN 13758-1:2002
- EN 343
Rising above the standards
Standards organisations often require that FR fabrics retain their qualities after a minimum number of washes, with the ISO requiring 50 industrial cycles and the NFPA requiring 100 washes.
Carrington Textiles’ FR fabrics, on the other hand, have been run through between 150 and 200 cycles where the FR treatment was still effective, placing its FR products firmly above industry standards. In addition to this, NFPA 2112 flash fire materials have a 50% limit for predicted burn, but Carrington Textiles’ fabrics have been tested at a significantly lower value.
The dangers of poor-quality fire protection
The first issue with low-quality FR is durability after laundering. Some garments currently available on the market only have certification for 5 washes at 40°C, which means that wearers cannot be certain their garments will still protect them after just a handful of washes.
Secondly, some FR garments have recently come under scrutiny due to concerns over wearer health. Carrington Textiles’ fabrics have been tested and approved for hazardous materials under the OEKO-TEX scheme for class 2 next-to-skin wear. Other low-quality solutions might not have been tested, and could pose concerns for long-term health.
Producing FR fabrics sustainably
If manufacturers use high-performing systems, such as those offered by Carrington Textiles, users won’t need to replace their garments as often to maintain the level of protection. The company also recycles chemicals in fabric production, reducing the overall amount of chemical waste the business produces.
Investments in modern, automated machinery also reduce energy consumption, in turn creating less pollution and lowering CO2 emissions. Suitable waste materials can also be captured for use in the horticulture sector, rather than being sent to disposal. Ultimately, everything that can be reduced, reused, or repurposed helps limit waste, making the production process cleaner and more sustainable in the long term.
When searching for FR solutions, buyers should be aware that chemical treatments can offer equal or better protection than inherent FR fibres. The quality of fire-retardant solutions depends primarily on the quality of the supplier, so garment manufacturers ought to purchase certified fabrics from reliable industry leaders like Carrington Textiles.
Contact Carrington Textiles:
Phone: +44 (0)1257 476 850