CORE Performance Work Wear ®
Flame Resistant Clothing FAQs.
Q: HOW CAN WORKERS TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CORE FR AND CORE NON-FR APPAREL?
A: CORE FR is clearly marked on the exterior of the garment with an FR tech tag, making it easy to distinguish from non-FR CORE garments. All packaging including hangtags will also note this tech tag. Simply look for this symbol:
In fact, all compliant FR Ergodyne products will note this tag, so workers can be sure they’re getting the protection they need from head to toe.
Q: CAN FLAME-RESISTANT CHEMICALS OR PROPERTIES BE WASHED OUT?
A: Whether the material is engineered at the fiber level (i.e. inherent blends) or at the fabric level (treated cotton), the flame-resistant properties in CORE FR are guaranteed for the life of the garment and cannot be washed out provided that proper laundering procedures are followed.
Q: WHAT IS AN HRC?
A: HRC or Hazard Risk Category indicates the level of arc flash protection required for a particular task or application. These are outlined in NFPA 70E. Every FR garment fits into one of our five HRCs ranging from 0 to 4 (level 0 being the least amount of protection and 4 representing the most protection). NFPA 70E assigns these categories to garments based on a worker’s task and level of risk. Each HRC requires the worker to wear FR garments with a minimum ATPV/EBT rating, for example: HRC 1 requires PPE of at least 4.0 cal/cm²; HRC 2 requires PPE of at least 8.0 cal/cm².
Q: WHAT IS AN ATPV OR EBT RATING?
A: Part of ASTM F1506 requires testing to ASTM F1959 to determine an ARC rating or “Arc Thermal Performance Value” (ATPV or EBT) which is measured in cal/cm². This is the minimum incident energy that a garment can be exposed to and still prevent the onset of second-degree burns.
Q: HOW SHOULD AN FR GARMENT FIT?
A: The looser fitting the FR garments, the more thermal protection the clothing system will provide. Air is a very effective insulator; therefore, maintaining an air gap between the clothing and skin will reduce the rate of heat transfer and provide better protection. That said, a loose fit must be balanced against the hazard of clothing being caught in moving equipment.
Q: WHAT SHOULD BE WORN UNDERNEATH FR CLOTHING?
A: Natural fibers such as cotton, wool or silk… or even going commando is acceptable! These options are better than a synthetic fiber. If workers wear a polyester base layer underneath an FRC and there is an arc flash or flash fire event, polyester will do what it’s engineered to do: melt and drip (even if it does not directly encounter any flame… simply from the heat alone!). For additional FR protection, workers should add an FR base-layer underneath FR outerwear. This increases the thermal protection of the clothing system by adding “air gaps” that reduce the transfer of heat and therefore injury.
Q: WHY SHOULD WORKERS BUY AN NFPA 2112 CERTIFIED GARMENT?
A: A certified garment goes above and beyond just using certified materials. Garment certification is performed by an independent third-party organization, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL). The certification guarantees that the garments themselves have been certified as a whole, finished product, including all items that make up the garment, such as fabric, thread, zipper tape, buttons and trims. As part of this garment certification, an ongoing audit performed by the independent third-party organization is completed for FR garment manufacturing facilities to verify that there is a quality control process and that all garments are being manufactured as certified. Bottom line: A garment that has been NFPA 2112 certified ensures that every bit of that garment meets all the requirements of the NFPA 2112 standard. Garments in CORE FR that are third-party certified will have this tech tag:
Q: CAN YOU CERTIFY WINTER LINERS AND COOLING HEADGEAR TO NFPA 2112?
A: NO. NFPA 2112 is a garment standard that outlines “the minimum performance requirements and test methods for flame-resistant fabrics and components and the design and certification requirements for garments for use in areas at risk from flash fires (Sec. 1.1). Sec. 3.3.15 defines “garment” as “clothing, including but not limited to coveralls, trousers, shirts, outerwear and rainwear.” There is no mention of winter accessory products like liners anywhere in NFPA 2112. Why? Because NFPA 2112 is a standard for creating garments that protect the body. When NFPA 2112 defines “upper body” in Sec. 22.214.171.124 it specifically says, “The area of the body above the waist and extending to the shoulders, including the arms and wrists but excluding the hands.” No mention of a person’s head or neck. That said, it would make sense for a worker who’s wearing FR garments to also choose compliant FR accessories (like liners).