How Does Fire Retardant Fabric Protect From Flame?

dale tec
dale tec
Nov 18 · 5 min read

What are fire retardant fabrics?

Fire retardant fabrics are workwear fabrics that prevent the outbreak of fire onto the skin. The quality of these fabrics is based on the time they take to burn and at what specific temperature they form charcoal on their surface. A good fire retardant fabric will resist fire for at least a few seconds or minutes. Most Fire retardant fabrics must undergo a few tests and only if the fabric passes all the test it’s classified as a fire retardant fabric. This ensures that the person paying for the right and best product within their budget.

R&D teams carry out most of these tests in laboratories under a different condition which simulates a fire hazard. They use tools like flamethrowers, cigarettes, and gas-fuelled flames to see how good the fire retardance of the product really is.

In most fire hazards, workwear fabrics often get burnt because of the level of exposure. The reason for this is the material of the fabric which is prone to catching flame. One way to make fabrics fire retardant is by making them thicker and having more layers. This provides more material for the fire to burn so it takes time to reach the skin of the person. This also provides a layer of air between the fibres of the material.

Protective fabrics
Protective fabrics

Protective fabric is made from both natural and manmade fibres such as nylon. Through chemical treatment, these fibres get fire retardant properties that help them burn slower. When these fibres come in contact with a fire they react with oxygen and a combustion reaction occurs which burns the fibres leaving a black substance known as charcoal or carbon. Carbon left on the fibres eventually help the flame to die and not spread everywhere on the clothing.

Difference between Flame resistant and Flame retardant fabrics

When buying a Workwear fabric you must know what type of fabric you are looking for and if the fabric you are buying is right for you. As technology and the human race evolves more and more options in every product start to show up. Workwear fabrics are no different as they contain a vast number of different products which have different properties. Every fabric has a different quality and comfort so it is important to know what to expect while buying a product.

Workwear fabric, Protective fabrics
Workwear fabric, Protective fabrics

Flame resistant fabrics are made from materials that are non-flammable naturally. The fabrics are treated to have flame-resistant properties with chemicals and sprays. These chemicals coat the fabric and prevent spread of fire and melting of fibre into the skin of the worker even in close flames. This self-extinguishing property is the key to its fire resistance. No matter how efficient the fabric is, it cannot offer 100% protection from flames because the fabric can only resist the flame for some time.

Flame retardant fabrics are chemically engineered workwear fabrics that burn really slow and also extinguish on their own under a flame. These fire retardant fabrics are made from most any material that is coated with some chemicals that makes them flame retardant.

The difference that is between flame-resistant fabrics and flame retardant fabrics is in how they are made. A fabric needs some chemical coatings to become a flame retardant fabric. Just like this, fabrics must be made from non-flammable materials to make them fire-resistant.

When you look for best workwear fabrics for overalls you may see that fire retardant textiles are cheaper compared to fire-resistant fabrics. This is because flame retardant fabric manufacturers make their products from cheap raw materials compared to fire-resistant fabrics that are made from expensive blends like cotton and nylon.

Deciding which fabric to buy

Every year the number of workers are exposed to the harsh conditions that they work in. In these harsh conditions it is important to have workwear fabrics that can protect them. When you have so many options it gets really hard to decide which FR fabric is best for you.

Assessing the hazards

Your workwear fabric should be high quality that is suitable for the hazards that occur commonly in your workplace. All hazards that occur should be noted so you know what you need to protect your workers from in their daily work. Professional people should be hired who can assess these dangers and inform you about them and give you a detailed inspection and clear motive on what to buy the fabrics for. The fabrics can vary for different kinds of hazards like flash fires, molten metal, and electric hazards.

Protective fabrics,Workwear fabric
Protective fabrics,Workwear fabric

It is important to know the hazards as this can make sure that the fire retardant fabric you buy will give the protection you require against them. The people who will assess the hazards will identify different kinds of hazards in the environment so fabrics can be bought accordingly. This might help decrease accidents. This way the workers will feel safe and perform their duties without a danger lurking at the back of their mind.

The climate of your workplace

When buying a workwear fabric it is important to note the climate of the factory. It is one of the key factors to be considered while buying fabrics. Different kind of workplace hazards poses a different level of dangers. The workers that are exposed to these dangers should be protected from these dangers by the fabrics. If the fabric is not up to standards they will seriously risk a workers life in danger.

The importance of having good FR fabrics is directly related to the level of harshness your climate provides. If the environment is extremely harsh like in a metal factory then the best quality of fabrics are needed to protect the workers.

When you decide to buy FR fabric you should make sure that your merchandise is up to standards having authentic labels on it. In addition, you need to buy the right brand from the right vendor, with verifiable quality that delivers.

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