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New fabric concept for arc protection clothing

BSD FuturaTec with GORE® PYRAD® technology

The history of normatively regulated protective clothing for electricians as PPE against the thermal hazards of electric arcs is quite young. It was only 12 years ago that DIN EN 61482-1-2 was published, thus describing the test structure for the certification of personal protective equipment. This is also known today as the "box test". With the exception of a slight modification in 2015, the "box test" has remained unchanged until today.

In contrast, the development in the field of fabrics and ready-made clothing has been stormy. Whereas in 2006 protective clothing was only described as "flame-retardant", the "Box Test" imposed new requirements on manufacturers and thus also on users. In the first few years it had to be decided whether the clothing should consist of almost 100% natural fibres (cotton) or 100% synthetic fibres (aramid). With the advantages of the respective fibres and fabrics, the disadvantages on the other side had to be accepted. A balanced relationship between protective function, wearing comfort, care properties and price was difficult to achieve.

In contrast, the development in the field of fabrics and ready-made clothing has been stormy. Whereas in 2006 protective clothing was only described as "flame-retardant", the "Box Test" imposed new requirements on manufacturers and thus also on users. In the first few years it had to be decided whether the clothing should consist of almost 100% natural fibres (cotton) or 100% synthetic fibres (aramid). With the advantages of the respective fibres and fabrics, the disadvantages on the other side had to be accepted. A balanced relationship between protective function, wearing comfort, care properties and price was difficult to achieve.

This changed when blended fabrics conquered the market about 5-6 years ago. By "marrying" natural and synthetic fibres, attempts have since been made to emphasise the positive fibre and thus fabric properties and to eliminate the negative properties.

We want to set a new milestone. For the first time we presented at the A+A fair in 2019 a pre-series models of an electrician's protective clothing made of a 3-layer laminate. The laminate is manufactured using GORE® PYRAD® technology and combines outstanding protective properties with very good wear properties:

  • Extremely high arc fault protection, APC class 2, ATPV 39 cal/cm²
  • Extremely light weight (approx. 310 g/m2)
  • Very good breathability (RET value: 8.3 m²Pa/W)
  • Good washability, no colour loss.

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