Investigation of Advanced Materials for Fire Resistant Clothing

Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman and Eylem Asmatulu
Wichita State University, Kansas, United States

Keywords: Fire Retardancy, Advanced Materials, Performance, Protective Garments

Fire protective clothing is crucial for the many areas, including military/government (Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Law Enforcement) and Industry (working with furnaces, casting, machining and welding). Fire resistant clothes provide protection to those who are at risk for exposure to fire hazards (intense heat and flames) and provide inert barrier between the skin and fire, and shields the user from direct exposure to fire and irradiation. A number of materials (polybenzimidazole fiber (PBI), aramid fiber, FR cotton, modacrylic, coated nylon, carbon foam (CFOAM), wool, fiber glass, melamine, polyhydroquinone – dimidazopyridine and leather) used for fire protection purposes were evaluated in details. Each material has its own fire protection performance level. There are two main application techniques for producing fire resistant clothing: 1) using fire retardant materials directly in the textile, and 2) spray coating on the garments. Over the time these physically and chemically treated cloths begin to degrade and become less protective due to UV and moisture exposure, abrasion, wear, and laundry effects. The study compared the advanced materials’ fire retardancy properties based on their fire protection performance as well as reliability, durability and service life.