The term flame resistant is used when describing a fabric or material that generally resists burning and a high level of exposure to heat. The materials receive what’s called a fire resistance rating. The fire resistance rating, which is a number given by UL, an international global science safety organization, is a quantifiable number given after a ratings test.
Is fabric fire resistant?
Because individuals like firefighters are exposed to high levels of heat, as a protective measure their protective gear is generally made of a resistant material like Kevlar or material that has been treated with a fire retardant spray.
There is a common belief that some fabrics like cotton are naturally fire resistant. However, that is not the case, cotton catches fire quickly, and because of that, fabrics made of cotton can be treated with a fire retardant spray.
In today’s construction environment, using materials that have been treated with some sort of fire retardant spray is the norm. Obviously, the need for safe materials increases substantially. Some examples of fire resistant material used in the construction industry would be:
So, what is the difference between fire retardant and flame resistant?
The biggest difference between flame resistant and fire retardant ultimately, is contingent on how the fabrics or materials are treated or made. Again, take note, that without a special chemical application, like a fire retardant spray for fabric.
Similarly, without being made of certain nonflammable fibers, a fabric will not qualify as fire resistant. The material must be treated with some sort of retardant to allow heat tolerance that reduces the acceleration of fire. National Fireproofing Supply offers a fire retardant spray that is non-toxic and can be used for multiple applications.