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New ways of optimising durability of flame retardant textile finishes
Oct '08
In many professions, flame retardant textiles are required as personal protective equipment (PPE). Within a research project (AiF-No. 14311 N) scientists from the Hohenstein Institutes in Bönnigheim investigated possibilities of maintaining the protective effect of flame retardant textiles for as many wear and care cycles as possible.

With regard to optimising the ecological and economic design of the products, both the design and construction of the textile material, together with the processes within industrial laundries were taken into account. Cotton fabrics with flame retardant finishes, aramid textiles and flame retardant polyester fibre materials were investigated, for example.

The flame retardant effect was retained for over 50 processing cycles for a range of products. The specific quality of the base material used, as well as the type of material itself, proved critical for the stability of the protective effect – a factor which provides manufacturers of high quality flame retardant textiles with an additional marketing point which helps to differentiate them from suppliers of cheap, inferior quality products.

To achieve optimal durability of the flame retardant effect, the individual characteristics of the material also need to be taken into account during the treatment processes, and require appropriate expertise from the industrial laundries.

The tests carried out by the scientists at Hohenstein also proved that the subsequent waterproofing of textiles, whether under either standard practical conditions or under specific incorrect conditions, has no negative effect on retaining the flame retardant function in line with safety advice, regardless of the water-repellent used.

Only the degree of water repellency is determined by the process parameters. As they have to be able to guarantee their clients that the flame-retardant effect will be retained, these findings are also of great importance to textile service providers.

Hohenstein Institutes

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