Decades of expertise and a deep understanding of the science of a flame go into creating new arc rated (AR) and flame resistant (FR) fabrics. We sat down with Drew Child, Director of Technology and Program Director for Milliken’s Uniform and Protective Fabrics Business, to discover more about the process behind developing new AR/FR textiles for cutting-edge personal protective equipment (PPE) for the electric utilities, and oil and gas industries.
There are many factors that go into creating a high-quality FR fabric. While there are many flame resistant (FR) properties that are often mentioned, such as durability and industry certifications, there are some characteristics that tend to receive less attention. We rounded up five interesting facts that you may not know about FR textiles to expand your knowledge on this important component of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Unexpected arc flash and short-duration thermal exposure from fire hazards, also known as flash fire, are a daily reality for electric utility and oil and gas workers. To help keep workers safe on the job, industrial personnel require ongoing hazard protection in addition to specific attire for certain tasks. Everyday FR apparel, such as work shirts, pants and jeans, is an easy solution for these workers to be adequately protected in the event of an arc flash or short-duration thermal exposure from fire.
Workers in utility and oil and gas industries have specific needs for high-visibility and FR protection on the job. They operate in areas with large amounts of electrically charged equipment and flammable materials, often during nighttime and in complex settings.
Back in the fall, NFPA 2112: Standard on Flame-Resistant Clothing for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Short-Duration Thermal Exposures from Fire saw new changes implemented for the 2018 edition, which went into effect on September 6, 2017. The 2018 edition is a barometer for the safety industry as a whole – impacting suppliers and manufacturers down to end users. If you are investing in flash fire PPE in 2018, we outline four significant changes you should be aware of as you specify your garments and implement relevant protocols. Read More
Last month, Westex by Milliken joined the industry in one of the largest safety conferences in the U.S. – NSC Congress & Expo. It is an opportunity to be immersed in the industry – gleaning information, learning the latest developments and experiencing products in-person.
The vast number of flame resistant fabrics, garments and manufacturers in today’s market has led to confusion around the differences between flame resistant (FR) fabric types, FR fabric manufacturing methods and FR garment brands. Many don’t realize that the term “88/12 FR” is nothing more than a fabric content or type of fabric. “88/12 FR” is not a brand of fabric, and therefore does not provide any information on fabric performance, which varies widely by fabric manufacturer. It’s also not well understood that who manufactures the fabrics is almost always different from who manufactures the garment, and behind a trusted garment label might be lower-quality, generic FR fabric. Given the poor performance of generic “88/12 FR” fabrics, misunderstanding the terms and labels can have serious consequences for workers.
When Dan joined an American company as Environmental Health and Safety Manager, his team leader and Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Robin, immediately informed him that the field employees, had a high exposure to arc flash over the course of their daily operations. The company’s 1,500 field technicians interact daily with electrified equipment– and have families, spouses, and children who wait for their safe return from work after a long day.