Wildland firefighters combat wildfires in some of the most challenging and hazardous conditions nature has to offer. To ensure your safety you have to be able to rely on your gear, including fabrics that are designed to withstand intense heat and flames. In this blog post, we'll explore the fabrics that wildland firefighters use to stay safe on the fireline.
Nomex® is a flame-resistant fabric that is widely used in the firefighting industry. It is known for its exceptional heat resistance and flame-retardant properties. Nomex® is made from synthetic aramid fibers that can withstand temperatures up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 degrees Celsius) without melting or dripping. This makes it an ideal choice for wildland firefighters who face extreme heat and flames regularly.
One of the key advantages of Nomex® is its durability. It can maintain its protective properties even after prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Nomex® is used in various firefighting gear, including turnout jackets, pants, hoods, and gloves. Its lightweight and breathable nature also make it comfortable for firefighters to wear during long shifts in hot conditions.
Sigma is made up of 45% meta-aramid, 32% Lenzing® FR, 17% polyamide and 6% para-aramid and offers firefighters a combination of flash and thermal protection, as well as durability and comfort within a single layer garment. This fabric is also moisture wicking, allowing for increased comfort.
Kevlar is another synthetic aramid fiber fabric used in wildland firefighting gear. While it is best known for its use in bulletproof vests, Kevlar is also highly effective at resisting heat and flames. It has a high melting point and offers excellent thermal protection.
Kevlar is often incorporated into the design of wildland firefighting gloves and hoods, providing firefighters with the necessary protection for their hands and head. Its strength and resistance to tearing make it a reliable choice for ensuring safety in the field.
TenCate is the manufacturer of the fabric Tecasafe® Plus. Tecasafe® Plus fabrics are extremely durable, meaning the technology that makes them stand up to heat will never wash out or wear out. They also feature COOLDERM technology, which means active moisture wicking and evaporative cooling effects. Evaporative cooling is ideal for the high heat environments that firefighters face. Keeping cool and dry lets firefighters stay on the job longer. Learn more about TenCate products and their fabrics here.
CarbonX is a specialized fabric that offers both flame resistance and high-temperature protection. It is made from oxidized polyacrylonitrile fibers and can endure extreme temperatures without degradation. CarbonX is often used in the construction of wildland firefighting hoods, gloves, and other protective accessories.
What sets CarbonX apart is its ability to resist not only flames but also molten metal splashes, which can be a significant hazard in wildland firefighting environments. This fabric is designed to be comfortable, moisture-wicking, and highly durable, ensuring that firefighters are well-protected throughout their demanding shifts.
The fabrics you rely on while fighting fires play a crucial role in ensuring your safety and comfort. Nomex®, Kevlar, and CarbonX are just a few examples of the specialized materials that are employed to create flame-resistant and heat-resistant gear for wildland firefighters. These fabrics not only provide protection against extreme temperatures but also offer durability, breathability, and comfort, allowing you to do your job more effectively and with less risk.
Preparing For Wildfire Season with NFFC
The National Fire Fighter Corporation strives to provide customers with the products they need to protect themselves, their communities, and their property from the devastating effects of fire. NFFC is a trusted source for quality, reliable firefighting gear to help effectively extinguish fires, stay protected, and minimize injury. With innovative designs, and high-quality, durable materials, NFFC wildland fire equipment and products help keep the brave men and women fighting fires safe when things get hot.