What does Inherent mean?
In connection with Flame Resistant (FR) fabrics, the term ‘Inherent’ is used to describe a fabric whose FR properties are permanent and cannot be removed.
The structure of the fibres used to create the yarns and in turn fabrics are non-flammable and the resulting Inherent Fabric will not burn or melt when exposed to a heat source such as a fire or flame for it’s entire lifetime.
When used in Flame Resistant protective clothing, the FR properties can never be washed out or worn away resulting in a garment that guarantees your ongoing protection and long life spans for reduced cost-in-use.
Inherent fabrics are often either Modacrylic or Aramid and two well know brand names are Protal® (a Modacrylic) and Nomex® (an Aramid).
HAZTEC® Flame Resistant Workwear is produced using Protal® Modacrylic fibres in conjunction with other yarns including Cotton, Polyester and Elastane. The way these yarns are blended affects the resulting fabric’s technical and protective properties in addition to it’s comfort and washing performance.
What does Treated mean?
A Flame Resistant (FR) fabric that we refer to as being ‘Treated’ is a fabric that has been chemically treated to give it its flame resistant properties.
Unlike ‘Inherent’ fabrics, the properties of these fabrics can be washed out during the garment’s lifetime and can therefore be considered a risk to some organizations where safety is paramount.
The EN certification of Treated fabrics can be just the same as Inherent fabrics and can include IEC 61482 Protective Clothing against the Thermal Hazards of an Electric Arc or EN ISO 11612 Heat & Flame Protective Clothing.
A common and well know brand name for a chemical treatment is Proban®
The number of washes that Treated fabrics are generally tested to a point where they maintain their FR properties is typically 50 washes.