Home Engineering Thermal Protective Clothing for Firefighters
Development of high performance fabrics
Many fire-retardant/resistant fibers have been developed in the last century. Using these fibers, an innovative approach is implemented to develop fabrics for thermal protective clothing [35,300]. In this regard, three major fabric components (shell fabrics, thermal liners, and moisture barriers) have been developed. These components are used in combination to produce a fabric assembly. This composite fabric is used to manufacture thermal protective clothing.
The shell fabric is generally a woven fabric [24,76]. To manufacture these kinds of fabrics, at first, the fire-retardant/resistant fibers are converted into yarn through spinning (Fig. 4.25). During spinning, the raw fire-retardant/resistant fibers are processed in the blowroom; subsequently, the processed fibers are passed through various stages (carding, drawframe, combing, roving frame, and ring frame) to convert them into yarn. Thereafter, the yarn passes through various processes (eg, starch sizing to enhance the smoothness and strength, heat setting) before weaving; these processes together are called preparatory weaving. During weaving, the processed yarn is used as warp and weft in a power-loom (eg, sulzer, rapier) to prepare plain-weave shell fabrics. The commonly used shell fabrics are aramid, PBI, or a compatible blend.
Fig. 4.25 Development of shell fabrics.
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