Flame Resistant at the Source
Aramid fibers draw their name from the term “aromatic polyamide.” In these fibers, chain molecules are highly oriented along the fiber axis allowing the strength of the chemical bond to be exploited.
Aromatic polyamides were first introduced commercially as meta-aramids as early as 1963 by the DuPont Corporation and sold under the trade name Nomex®. Later meta-aramids included Conex® manufactured by Teijin as well as Kermel® in France and produced by the Kermel Corporation.
These fibers are noted mostly for their great resistance to heat. Meta-Aramids will not ignite or melt in normal levels of oxygen. This makes meta-aramids very valuable for sure in protective fabrics and garments used as PPE in various industries.
In 1978 DuPont introduced a para-aramid called Kevlar®. Meanwhile, Akzo introduced a similar para-aramid called Twaron® in 1978. (twaron® is currently owned by the Teijin Company.) The advantage of para-aramids is that they have an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. By adding improved strength to the fire and heat resistance of the fibers, para-aramids are ideal for the manufacture of fabrics for high-performance protective equipment such as firefighter outershells and antiballistic materials.
TenCate Protective Fabrics uses all or some of these fibers to manufacture many fabrics for various applications in multiple markets.