Garment guards against heat and flame
07 March 2018 | Web Article Number: ME20188945
A sudden and unexpected electrical discharge, an arc flash, leaves its intended path and travels through the air between conductors or from a conductor to the ground. This results in an explosion which can cause fire and serious harm to people and equipment.
Accidents caused by touching a test probe to the wrong surface or the dropping of tools are the most common causes of an arcing fault. Arc flashes can also be caused by dust, accidental touching or surfaces, sparks due to breaks and gaps in the insulation.
FR-treated fabrics and substances, especially treated to be non-flammable and flame-proof, are a common way to protect workers from this risk. FR fabrics ignite with difficulty, burn slowly when set on fire and, most importantly, self-extinguish when the heat source is removed.
As fire needs oxygen to burn, if a fabric is flame-retardant, it will slow down the spread of fire by inhibiting the oxygen to which it is exposed.
Guardex, a flame-retardant product distributed by G.Fox, a textile manufacturer with over 40 years’ experience, is a popular locally available FR fabric option.
“Gaurdex’s trustworthy qualities are a result of rigorous fabric testing and it has been approved to NFPA2112 – which is the highest possible global standard,” G.Fox said in a statement, adding that it is currently being used in petrochemical, industrial and glass production furnaces to protect workers.
“Inherently safe, Guardex is approved by Engen, Total, and Chevron. Approval from and Shell and BP is coming soon. Sasol approval is in progress.”
The company said Guardex can withstand up to 125 industrial-strength laundry washes. “In fact, the product will wear out long before it loses its flame-retardency (FR).”
Another drawcard is its price tag. According to the company, Guardex comes in at approximately half the cost of its nearest competitor.