Flame Resistant Insights

Volume 03 | June 2014

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Page 23 of 37

By Scott Margolin International Technical Director, Westex MAKING SENSE OF NFPA 2112 TEST DATA AND FLASH FIRE MANIKIN RESULTS A "2112" fabric or garment is most commonly perceived to be one that has passed the manikin test. A very distant second in public awareness is the 100 industrial laundering test for flame resistant (FR) durability. However, there's a lot more to these tests than meets the eye, and a lot more tests in NFPA 2112. Many people who dig into the details are shocked by what they did not know or misunderstood. Below, we'll take a closer look at the manikin test, but before we do, it's vital to understand that the significant majority of NFPA 2112 testing (and other FR or arc resistant (AR) testing) rates performance of FR fabrics, as opposed to garments. It is the fabric type, brand and weight that determine the vast majority of the most important characteristics of the finished PPE. Properties determined exclusively by the fabric brand include manikin body burn test results, arc rating and flame resistance to laundering. The fabric brand is also a critical factor in the level of comfort, durability, wear, appearance and more. In addition, fabric is usually the single-largest cost component of the finished garment, so it plays a key role in pricing as well. As a result, most people choose to research and specify the fabric brand first and to monitor and enforce their specs over the life of the program. Many people understand that they want NFPA 2112-compliant fabrics and garments, but very few understand what compliance really means, and perhaps more importantly, what it doesn't mean. continued on next page Westex ® fabric after a 3-second manikin test Volume 03 | June 2014 | 25 FLAME RESISTANT INSIGHTS

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