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Fibers - Tencate FR Fabrics Asia
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Fibers

Where it All Begins

TenCate Protective Fabrics uses all inherently FR fibers for the manufacture of fabrics. By using FR fiber in the fabric the heat and flame resistance is built in and will never wash out or wear away. This means that no dangerous chemical treatments or finishes are ever used on any TenCate fabric to make them FR.

TenCate Protective Fabrics is the largest consumer of DuPont™ Nomex® and Kevlar® and these fibers are used in innovative blends to produce fabrics for a wide range of applications. TenCate also uses the following fibers:

DuPont

Strength When You Need It the Most

DuPont™ Kevlar® is a para-aramid fiber developed by Stephanie Kwolek in the early 1960’s. Kevlar wasn’t introduced commercially until 1971. The chemical name of the brand Kevlar is Ploy-paraphenylene terephthalamide and was developed while researchers were looking for a light but strong fiber for use in tires in anticipation of a gas shortage and lack of petroleum by-products. The nearly accidental discovery that Kevlar solution could be spun to produce strong fiber gave rise to modern polymer science.

Kevlar has many applications in the world today such as tires, racing sails and body armor. Given its high tensile strength-to-weight ratio (5 times stronger than steel), it is also ideal for the manufacture of protective fabrics that are heat and abrasion resistant.

Trusted Protection

DuPont™ Nomex® and other aramid polymers are related to nylon but have aromatic backbones.

As a meta-aramid, Nomex cannot align during filament formation and has poorer strength than para-aramids, like Kevlar. But Nomex provides solid flame and heat resistance nonetheless. Nomex has a wide variety of applications in many industries where heat and flame resistance are important attributes. Used extensively in electrical insulation and aircraft construction, Nomex has provides the right combination of factors to be an excellent candidate for a fiber used in protective fabrics. Wildland firefighters wear Nomex shirts and trousers for flame and heat protection as do racecar drivers and military pilots. TenCate Protective Fabrics is the world’s largest manufacturer of Nomex fabrics and uses more Nomex fiber than any other company on the planet.

Naturally Fire Resistant

Lenzing FR® fiber is a cellulosic fiber that helps to provide heat and flame resistance in different fabric blends.

Lenzing FR is a registered trademark of the Lenzing Group, an international group of companies with headquarters in Austria.

Lenzing FR is manufactured from wood which is harvested from carefully managed forests and is a renewable source of fiber from a raw natural resource. By using the Lenzing Modal® process, the FR attributes are inserted permanently into the fiber and, thusly, into the fabric as well. In efforts to maintain an environmentally friendly, Green process, TenCate Protective Fabrics is proud to incorporate Lenzing FR fibers into our high-quality FR fabrics.

PBI

Strength After Thermal Exposure

PBI fiber, chemically known as polybenzimidazole, is a fiber that goes into many blends for a variety of inherently FR fabrics. PBI fiber provides flame and heat resistance with the added bonus of good retention of both strength and flexibility after exposure to thermal events. PBI fibers can be used to make FR fabrics that provide excellent thermal protection as well being supple and comfortable. Used by TenCate Protective Fabrics in blends for the manufacture of fabrics that offer first-rate protection, PBI provides low heat transfer, FR protection and comfort all in one package, making it an ideal choice for the PPE that firefighters, military tactical personnel and other first responders need when the heat is on. PBI fiber is manufactured by PBI Performance Products, Inc. and TenCate has partnered with them for the development of several fabrics  in the market today.

PBO

High Tenacity

PBO fiber, known chemically as a Polybenzoxazole is a high tenacity fiber that has almost double the strength of para-aramids. PBO fiber provides high strength and excellent thermal stability. PBO fiber is used in tennis rackets, body armor and even the Mars rovers. TenCate uses PBO to manufacture outer shell fabrics for firefighters’ turnout gear. The obvious heat resistance properties of PBO fiber make it an ideal candidate for use in this application but the added bonus of its high tensile strength (when spun into yarn) make it immeasurably desirable to firefighters everywhere. This combination of high strength and thermal stability means that an outer shell fabric made with PBO fiber is less susceptible to tears, abrasion and break-open in a thermal event and, thusly, reduces the risk of burn injuries.