/15 February 2017
Featuring our Phoenix range – Guaranteed Flame Retardant for the life of the Garment - Check out our FR clothing range here.
Our Welding Essentials range is designed to protect the wearer against welding splatter (small splashes of molten metal), short contact time with flame and radiant heat from the arc.
When a spark or hot welding splash hits the surface of the garment, the fabric immediately chars. The flame retardant treatment in the fabric prevents the char from continuing to glow or spread beyond the local area.
If the hot splash hits a smooth vertical surface (e.g. wearer standing upright and no obstruction on the garments) the hot droplet may fall our and the level of damage is reduced. If it hits a horizontal surface (e.g. shoulder, arm extended) or it becomes trapped (e.g. crook of arm, creases, pocket) it will remain in place and continue to char until it cools down. Although the flow will extinguish and prevent serious injury, there will be greater damage to the surface of the garment. As it cools down the char will turn brittle and eventually fall out, leaving a hole in the fabric. This can be repaired by qualified machinists using an approved fabric patch.
Please note that during the welding operation we would always recommend the use of primary PPE such as a protective apron, gauntlets etc. The welding garments should be regarded a secondary protection. Use of primary PPE will improve the level of protection for the wearer and reduce the risk of skin burn. It will also increase the list of the garment.
The importance of regular cleaning cannot be overstated. Over many years of supplying protective clothing, we have found that the majority of garments which have been damaged by flame, sparks or splashes were either:
We would recommend regular cleaning by a professional laundry. Garments can be washed and dried using an approved process, and any damage would be identified and safely repaired.
It is often thought that the FR treatment will wash out after repeated laundry processing. 20-30 washes is regularly quoted as the point at which a treated fabric will lose its FR performance due to washing.
HOWEVER THIS IS INCORRECT
The FR treatment process ensures that a solid flame retardant polymer is physically trapped into the core of each cotton fire. The polymer is insoluble. It cannot be removed by a conventional wash process.
NB. Chlorine bleach should NOT be used as it weakens the polymer.