Six thousand fire fighters across London have been benefitting from fabric technology developed by protective clothing solution provider DuPont Personal Protection and Nomex Quality Partner, Hainsworth Fabrics. The new turn-out-gear forms part of an eight year contract between London Fire Brigade. Made of an innovative blend of DuPont™ Nomex® and Kevlar® fibres that provides maximum protection and comfort, the turn-out-gear scored a zero burn injury prediction in rigorous tests and evaluations, outperforming a number of other kits on offer in Europe.
The turn-out-gear incorporates Nomex® fibre, which, due to its unique combination of flame protection and durability, is worn by more than three million fire fighters around the world. Nomex® can withstand intense heat and flame for an extended period and will not melt or drip onto skin if engulfed in flash fire. Because it doesn't support combustion in the air, it means that once removed from flame or heat it self-extinguishes. In short, its protection gives fire fighters vital extra seconds to escape without serious burn injury.
When the turn-out-gear fabric is exposed to intense heat or flame, the Nomex® fibres consolidate, causing the strong Kevlar® fibres to ripple and remain undamaged. This reaction creates air pockets that offer the garment wearer greater thermal insulation when it is most needed. The fabric meets the chemical protection and spray rating requirements of EN469:2005, even after repeated laundering.
Top marks in tests
Talking about the benefits of this world-leading protective fabric, George Farenden, a fire protective clothing specialist at DuPont Personal Protection in the UK, commented "Tests on the DuPont™ Thermo-Man® facility predicted that wearers of the new turn-out-gear would come away from a duration of eight seconds of flash fire with between zero and three percent burn injuries. Every element of the new clothing has been designed to integrate with each other and is compatible with standard incident kit such as breathing apparatus sets and chemical protection suits. It's one of the most sophisticated and most comfortable kits in the world, and won the day because it most suited the diverse operational needs of London Fire Brigade."