TechTextil North America 2018
Advancements in PPE Fabrics
By Kathlyn Swantko
From insulated baselayers and flame-resistant fabrics for uniforms to high-visibility garments, new Safety & Protective textile products were evident throughout the Techtextil North America 2018 trade show floor.
Current trends in PPE continue to move toward a complete outerwear system in a single lightweight layer that combines fire- and chemical-resistance with windproof, waterproof/breathable properties. Manufacturers are also incorporating comfort, using fabrics with softness and stretch.
The FabricLink Network reviews several new textile fiber and fabric developments that target the PPE market with multi-functional applications for work apparel in high risk health and safety fields.
Stedair®'s Breathable, Bicomponent Membrane prevents
the penetration of water, blood, body fluids, and common
Stedfast Inc. showcased its Stedair® Moisture Management System at Techtextil NA. As a world leader in the development of specialized coated and laminated protective barriers, Stedfast's Stedair® waterproof, breathable barriers are designed with new levels of technology, improving on protection and comfort. The bi-component technology of the Stedair® membrane consists of a microporous polyetrafluooethylene, combined with a monolithic polyurethane film, allowing high rates of moisture vapor transmission (breathability), while offering excellent hydrostatic resistance (waterproofness).
Stedair® Moisture Barriers provide protection against toxic industrial chemicals and hydrocarbon oxidizing agents, and can be used in a variety of technical applications, including Flame Resistant protective apparel, Arc Flash protective garments, chemical protective coveralls, and urban search-and-rescue applications.
Filspec, Inc. introduced its newest fabric solution, Workfil™, which is specifically designed to provide workers with a comfortable, safe, and professional uniform product. Fabrics created with FilSpec's Workfil™ FR fiber are similar to denim.
Workfil™ fabric is flame resistant and has been tested and approved by CTT Group, a certified laboratory. Workfil™ benefits include durability, dyeability in all colors, comfort, flame protection, and burn risk reduction. The fiber successfully passed the NFPA 2112-2012 Fabric Tests including: Flash Fire Exposure - no garment perforation after 3 seconds (as per ASTMF1930); Zero percent 2nd and 3rd degree burns in areas covered by clothing; and Self-Extinguishing fabric. End-use applications include delivery, construction, welding, electricity, production lines, and mechanical.
Kuraray new comfortable VINAL™ flame resistant fiber.
Kuraray introduced VINARL™, its new flame-retardant fiber, at Techtextil N.A. The VINARL™ fiber offers inherent flame resistance without the need for additives. When VINARL™ fiber is exposed to flame, the carbonization exhibits self-extinguishing qualities. Additional fiber features include tensile strength, melt-resistance, moisture absorbency, durability, and dyeability qualities.
The 70% VINARL™/30% COTTON woven fabric, which was displayed at the Kuraray booth, offers comfortable FR properties for work wear and protective gear applications. VINARL™ fiber is available in both staple versions and spun yarn versions, which can be made into plain weaves, twill weaves, and knitted fabric constructions.
Pharr High Performance Yarns promoted its family of high-performance yarns for a wide range of industries and applications, including but not limited to: 1) Fire Service - Yarns for turnout gear, liners, gloves and hoods, providing flame and heat resistance, as well as chemical resistance; 2) Industrial Workwear - Yarns that provide flame and heat resistance, electrical safety, cut resistance, and chemical resistance for workers in electrical utilities, oil and natural gas exploration and refinement for end-uses including apparel, and gloves; and 3) Military - Yarns for all types of wovens and knits, baselayers, BDUs (battle dress uniforms), fleeces, etc. that provide flame and heat resistance, cut resistance and chemical resistance.
Pharr HP engineers work with each customer to develop and manufacture the precise yarn needed for each application, no matter how complex, and no matter that it has “never been done before.”
Gentex Corporation's GENTEX® DUAL MIRROR®
Aluminized Fabric's five-layer structure provides advanced
protection for firefighters and industrial workers operating
in high-heat environments.
Gentex Corporation offered its Dual Mirro® system of high performance aluminized fabrics at the show, which incorporates a proven five-layer structure that ensures a high level of abrasion resistance and a fabric that remains highly reflective.The lightweight and flexible outer-shell fabrics have been designed to be combined with vapor barriers and thermal liners to provide the wearer with the ultimate protection against fires, which generate high levels of radiant heat. The five-layers, which are combined to form a single homogeneous fabric, consist of an outer layer of aluminum, protective film, a second layer of aluminum, heat stable adhesive, and the base fabric. Test have shown that Gentex Dual Mirror Aluminized Fabrics provide six times better protection at higher heats than similar weight non-aluminized fabrics.