flame retardant treated fabric versus Fire Retardant Fabric vs inherently flame resistant fabric

Fire Retardant Fabric vs Inherently Fire Resistant Fabric

The term “fire resistant” is used when describing a fire retardant 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, is a quantifiable number given after a ratings test.

Is Fabric Fire Resistant?

Let’s take a look at inherently fire resistant fabrics. First of all, it’s important to know that no inherently fabric material is actually fireproof because when given enough time, they will burn. That being said, there are some fabrics that will resist fire more than others. For example, we all know that cotton burns easily and quickly. Fabrics like wool and or Kevlar resist flames inherently because of the fiber. A tightly woven wool fabric will take longer to burn than untreated cotton. However, fabrics made of cotton, polyester, rayon, along with a few others can be treated with a fire retardant spray.

Because individuals like firefighters are exposed to high levels of heat, as a protective measure their protective gear is generally made of a highly fire resistant material like Kevlar or Nomex

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:

fire retardant spray for fabric materialsSo, what is the difference between fire retardant and inherently flame resistant?

The biggest difference between inherently 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 or certain nonflammable fibers, a fabric will not qualify to meet any fire codes. The material must be inherently flame resistant or treated with some sort of fire retardant spray 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 any absorbent fabric.

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