PBO fiber, known chemically as a Polybenzoxazole is a high tenacity fiber that has almost double the strength of para-aramids. PBO fiber provides high strength and excellent thermal stability.
PBO fiber is used in tennis rackets, body armor and even the Mars rovers. TenCate uses PBO to manufacture outer shell fabrics for firefighters’ turnout gear.
The obvious heat resistance properties of PBO fiber make it an ideal candidate for use in this application but the added bonus of its high tensile strength (when spun into yarn) make it immeasurably desirable to firefighters everywhere.
This combination of high strength and thermal stability means that an outer shell fabric made with PBO fiber is less susceptible to tears, abrasion and break-open in a thermal event and, thusly, reduces the risk of burn injuries.