Repair and Maintenance of Flame Resistant Protective Apparel

ASTM International has developed two standards for repair and maintenance of FR garments. Standard F 1449 Guide for Industrial Laundering of Flame, Thermal and Arc Resistant Clothing, covers maintenance of garments by industrial laundries. Newly adopted Standard F 2757 Guide for Home Laundering Care and Maintenance of Flame, Thermal and Arc Resistant Clothing provides information for home care and maintenance of flame resistant protective garments.

Essentially, all repairs must be made with materials equivalent to the original materials in the garments. In other words, Nomex® sewing thread and FR mending fabrics equal to the materials used in the original garment. Heat seal FR patches are available and are often used to make small repairs. Bulwark Customer Care can assist in providing repair kits for individuals and material sources for organizations.

Bulwark does not have a specific guideline on repairs except to follow the ASTM standards. This would also apply to zippers and any other trim or findings item that needs to be replaced. Technical Bulletins that provide detailed laundry and dry cleaning recommendations are available for each type of fabric used in Bulwark garments.

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How flame-resistant fabrics work

Flame-resistant (FR) fabrics and garments are intended to resist ignition, prevent the spread of flames away from the immediate area of high heat impingement, and to self-extinguish almost immediately upon removal of the ignition source.

Normal work apparel will ignite and continue to burn if exposed to an ignition source such as flame or electric arc. Everyday fabrics will continue to burn until they are extinguished or all flammable material is consumed.