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Breaking the fire cycle.

A soldier's clothing can provide a last line of defense against fire and heat, but measures to increase the flame resistance (FR) of clothing often weigh them down with coatings or simply retard flame without insulating against heat. ResQ FR Fabrics from Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, S.C., reduce body burn by as much as 50% through a mechanism that breaks the "Fire Cyde"--fuel, oxygen, and heat. If any one of these components is removed from the fire system the chain reaction stops and the fire goes out.

ResQ works by combining charring and the use of inherently FR fibers. The cotton component of the fabric is treated with a proprietary phosphorous-based FR that promotes charring. When the cotton chars, the outside of the cotton is converted to a heat-stable char that insulates the cotton from external heat and prevents the cotton surface from producing more fuel. Use of approximately 30% meta-aramid, a temperature-stable fiber that resists breakdown, denies fire a fuel source. ResQ's twill and yarn construction traps air in the fabric, which increases the insulation value of the fabric.

* Milliken & Co., www.milliken.com

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Title Annotation:Materials sciences; ResQ FR Fabrics from Milliken & Co.
Publication:R & D
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Sep 1, 2012
Words:186
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