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Industrial Safety industries - 2 min read - 19 January 2023

Inherent FR Fabrics - What are they and when are they the best choice for protective clothing?

Choosing the best fire-resistant fabrics is essential to creating a safe environment for your employees. Especially in high-risk industries, where occurrences such as arc flashes, fires, and chemical exposure are a part of the daily deal, protective clothing needs to be a priority. But are inherent FR fabrics the best option for your team?

This article will cover the durability, protection, and investment value of inherent FR fabrics to help you make the most informed decision when it comes to the safety of your team.

What is the difference between inherent FR and FR treated?

Inherent FR fabrics refer to any fabric that is produced with fiber that holds intrinsic fire retardant properties. These inherent FR properties are never worn down or washed out as they are part of the raw material the fabric is made of.

FR-treated fabrics, on the other hand, obtain their fire-resistant properties from chemical treatments that are applied to fabrics after they have been made.

FR Fibers and Fabrics Reference Guide

Get the Quick Reference Guide to FR Fibers and Fabrics

We created a quick guide to cut through the confusion on flame-resistant fibers and fabrics. Our one-page reference guide covers some of the most common fabrics and fibers used in flame-resistant PPE garments.

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Which industries are best suited for Inherent FR fabrics?

There are several professionals that are required to wear FR clothing due to the high-risk industries they work in, including:

However, many other industrial and maintenance professionals can also benefit from inherent FR fabric protection, such as:

  • Electricians
  • Industrial food processing staff
  • Paper processing personnel
  • Chemical plant employees
  • Manufacturing technicians

While it is true that many of these workers may never be exposed to hazards on a day-to-day basis in their industries, the risk of exposure does exist. In both cases, it is crucial to minimize risk by wearing suitable protective clothing.

What does Inherent FR mean for the wearer?

The greatest benefits of inherent FR fabrics, for wearers and businesses alike, lie in durability. 

  • Physical durability: As the FR properties are an intrinsic part of the fibers themselves, the fabric retains its integrity.
  • Protective durability: Inherent FR fabrics generally provide better protection at a lighter weight for improved comfort.
  • Aesthetic durability: Inherent FR fabrics maintain their color and do not shrink over time, simplifying their maintenance and care.

Investing in inherent FR fabrics

In general, inherent FR fabrics can prove to be a more valuable investment in the long run. However, they are more expensive. Their higher price is due to the fabric’s long-term durability, quality, and comfort qualities. When weighing the increased costs against the long-term durability, the investment value is clear.

Making the Right Choice

There are many FR fabrics available in the market and making the right choice comes down to analyzing industry-specific requirements. Ultimately, both inherent FR and FR-treated fabrics offer reliable protection against fire-related risks and hazards.

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