ALPEX manufactures a range of laminates textiles made with Nomex Nano Flex barrier produced by DuPont. Tested in real conditions, the performance results are outstanding.
Recent statistics from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) warn of an alarming trend: the number of firefighters dying of cancer has skyrocketed since 1950.
Many studies come to the conclusion that firefighters face cancer rates significantly greater than most Americans. Carcinogen contamination is most likely to come through the traditional hood material. Many chemicals contained in smoke and/or soot particulates, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are absorbed through the skin. The thinner the skin, the faster the absorption and the neck area, having thinner skin, is particularly at risk, especially taking into account that skin absorption increases drastically with the temperature.
The hood interface protection has to be reinforced with material offering high particle barrier efficiency.
How does it work?
ALPEX brought its many years of experience in various lamination technologies dedicated to the PPE sector to develop a specific range of laminated products using Nomex Nano Flex as a particulate barrier.
These laminates are technical textiles made of three layers: an outer shell, with very high thermal, flame and heat resistance performances, mostly containing DuPont Nomex fibres; a middle layer, core of the innovation, that could be described as a very thin microporous material made of nano-fibres, which thanks to its extremely low density and its very high elasticity does not interfere at all with wearing comfort; and finally a third layer, also with thermal properties, enhancing moisture transfer.
This optimized composite structure is soft, light, very comfortable (stretch) and highly durable (tested up to 100 washes). It is up to 50 times more breathable than the usual membranes, while it achieves more than 99% filtration efficiency using the normal test methods (particles, fine particles, virus of bacteria).
The specifically developed bonding technology prevents the composite from generating any rubbing or crackling noises, thus not affecting situation awareness, a key safety parameter for firefighters.
Much more breathable than traditional membranes, laminates using Nomex Nano Flex are also PTFE-free and are a breakthrough in particulate blocking materials.
NNF LAM was developed to help make products like firefighter hoods more protective against particles without compromising comfort.
A highly breathable FR material with exceptional elasticity and superior particle barrier performance, NNF LAM is also thinner and lighter in weight than other FR materials.
The addition of NNF LAM to a firefighter hood composite structure provides improved particle barrier protection in the neckline and upper jaw area, which historically are known to be the most vulnerable and least protected. In fact, it results in up to a fourfold increase in particle barrier efficiency.
Major American and European brigades have already adopted NNF LAM for their protective gear. Particulate blocking hoods made with NNF LAM can be found amongst several DuPont partners in North America, Europe and the Middle East.
For more information, go to www.alpex.fr/nnf/