Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

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FR Bulwark Work Clothes

Started out in Edmonton Alberta Canada, in 1990 by a man called Dan Starko, and named Protective apparel but was deemed to generic a by a local ad agency this new fantastic FR (fire resistant) apparel was renamed Bulwark Work Clothes.

Bulwark, basically means “to protect and to fortify” which is what any person working with, close to or even in fire needs to survive your daily duties.

Bulwark Work Clothes, which we will now refer to as FR, for length purposes and understanding comes in two forms, Treated and Inherent and the biggest question has always been is there a difference is in the protection offered, and the plain and simple short answer is NO!

To really understand why there is a difference in these two terms, we need to understand why they were applied in the first place to prevent any confusion.

DEFINITION AND ENGINEERING:

INHERENT: These are the materials that has the FR properties, that are defined to have the ability to self extinguish once the ignition of flame source, if extinguished itself or removed from the area or equation, and this is the core property and very nature of this process.

TREATED: this FR differs to the other in the main fact that as a core property itself it is engineered from flame retardant chemistry FR properties and prevents any ignition or acceleration of any source which might or might not be present prior to the treatment or exposure.

FR PROPERTIES CAN BE ACHIEVED IN THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WAYS OR PROCESSES TO KEEP ANY WORKER AS SAFE AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE:

  1. A LEVEL OF MOLECULAR CONSTRUCTION: To get a type of synthetic derivative through engineering at a molecular level to create a FR is used in this process and examples of these, in alphabetical order would be:

 KERMEL
 KEVLAR
 NOMEX
 TWARON
 ETC.

  1. THE FIBROUS LEVEL: Here we have a process where before the fiber is even extruded flame-retardant chemicals are added to the producing process and examples of these are as follows, also in alphabetical order:

 FR MODACRYLICS
 FR RAYONS

  1. A LEVEL OF FABRIC IMPORTANCE: Through a combination of mechanical and chemical processes FR properties are permanently processed and combined into any of the flammable fabrics to create what is known as FR Cotton, 88/12

A BIT OF A HISTORY LESSON:

With this technology based and adopted into the FR world over the last thirty years, it reflected unexpectedly, a reflection of flame resistant durability of the technology of the time. Not expecting it to be so by anyone as the logic was always, until proven wrong, that Inherent was the far more superior technique to Treated, as at one stage this was true.

The reason behind this was the cotton used, did not have the durability to hold or impart the Treated FR and as the other naturally cellulosic material that were naturally flammable, they loss their Treated FR properties over time especially after repeated washings, and the type of work these garments were used in, washing repeatedly was the norm.

Prior to 1987, aramids was the FR alternative as far as standards were concerned and had no standing competition

THE CHANGE OR EVOLUTION TO WHAT IS KNOWN AND USED TODAY:

In the past thirty years, there have been such an advancement in the FR technology, and by advancement we mean dramatic to point it actually blurred the lines between the two now well known terms of Inherent and Treated, and it has become so common as well as misused as terms that it has created more confusion than clarity to those who are not in the know how!

Because of the current use of many fabric blends in the production of FR fibers and the confusion it is creating as many are still under the impression these two fabrics, Inherent and Treated are one fabric and not a blend thus causing utter confusion when it comes to labeling and usage.

In fact some of the fibers actually use all three engineering levels in the production and created a new complex blend which cannot even be named, but works like intended.

For example what do you call a blend of thirty five percent Aramid that was molecularly engineered and a fiber engineered level of cotton of sixty five percent FR.

Even though these blends are very successful in it’s engineering and producing what it was intended for it can and is very confusing to all.

CONCLUSION:

As FR has come a very long way where we can say that we created materials that are far more superior to anything created before even just a generation ago and we should now start learning to communicate in that same sort of evolutionary talk when discussing these new fabrics and changes.

Our biggest and most important consideration should always be the workers comfort and protection and the durability of his protective clothing and it shouldn’t matter which one he or she chooses.

The end user of any Bulwark Work Clothes or FR product should know they can depend on it’s safety wash after wash with a lifetime guarantee on all the FR garments and products as we are actually talking about the lives and safety of everyone wearing or surrounded by those wearing them.