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Further Information - Chemical Protection with FR

Chemical Protection with FR Properties:-
Difference in performance between Pyrolon and FR SMS  /  EN14116 Flammability Testing and Thermal Mannequin Testing


EN 14116 is a basic flammability standard for garment fabrics. It consists of a simple vertical flammability test in which a small flame is applied to the centre of a fabric sample for 10 seconds and then withdrawn. Note that this is not a “forced ignition” test so fails to allow for a tendency of a fabric to shrink from a flame. It defines three levels of fabrics: Index 1, Index 2 and Index 3. 

Index 2 and 3 fabrics are for fabrics used for Thermal Protective Garments and require no holing to occur as a result of contact with the flame.

Disposable FR fabrics meet Index 1: this allows holing of the fabric (since these garments are not intended to provide thermal protection) but require that the fabric does not propogate the flame. The fabric is assessed according to the requirements in the table below:-


EN 14116
Flammability Test 
 Index 1 Requirements
  • No specimen shall permit any part of the lowest boundary of any flame to reach the upper or vertical edge
  • No specimen shall give off flaming debris 
  • No afterglow shall spread from the carbonised area to the undamaged area after the cessation of flaming
Other Notes The 2008 version of EN 14116 requires that a test be conducted on a sample with a seam down the centre and that the seam should "remain intact" after the test, although this may become a requirement only of Index 2 and 3 in the latest draft replacement standard

The purpose of disposable FR garments is to to be worn over Thermal Protective Garments to provide chemical splash protection or to keep the TPG clean. EN 14116 testing however only assesses simple verticle flammability properties and offers no information on how such a garment affects the thermal performance of the ensemble when used for the purpose they are intended – when worn OVER an EN 16112 Thermal Protective Garment.

Thermal Mannequin Testing can indicate the total effect on Thermal Performance

Thermal Mannequin Testing according to ISO 13506 – optional in EN 16112 but mandatory for US NFPA approval – is the method by which comparative thermal protective performance of FR workwear can be assessed – and also to assess how a disposable worn over a thermal protective garment affects the thermal performance of the ensemble.

Lakeland has commissioned independent testing to EN 14116 AND Thermal Mannequin Testing of several FR SMS coveralls purchased in the market, as well as comparative Pyrolon garments. From this clear facts emerged:-

Product / Fabric Type EN 14116 Vertical Flammability Test Performance Thermal Mannequin Testing Performance - FR disposable worn over a Nomex® TPG
All Pyrolon Garments All Pyrolon samples pass flammability testing with no fails or problems - this includes the requirement for seams to remain intact in the 2008 version When worn over a TPG Pyrolon garments show a dramatic reduction in predicted body burn and therefor a substantial improvement in thermal protection compared to a standard thermoplastic ( Non FR SMS) disposable
FR SMS garments (Two major brands sampled in the market) All samples tested FAILED flammability testing on several counts – notably ALL failed on the requirement for no flaming debris. Showed almost NO DIFFERENCE in Predicted Body Burn and  almost NO IMPROVEMENT in thermal performance when compared to a standard SMS disposable coverall.
Conlcusion Whilst testing clearly shows that Pyrolon works – that Pyrolon garments result in an improvement in total thermal performance, it also shows that FR SMS coveralls don’t work; that the additional cost of an FR SMS coverall results in no difference in predicted body burn or thermal performance compared to a standard, non-FR SMS coverall. So why bother paying extra for FR SMS?


For more information and more detailed comparisons between Pyrolon and FR SMS coveralls download the "Guide to FR Disposables: Pyrolon Vs FR SMS"


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  1. Pyrolon® CRFR

    Pyrolon® CRFR

    Style Number ECR428
  2. Pyrolon® Plus 2

    Pyrolon® Plus 2

    Style Number EPW428
  3. Pyrolon® XT

    Pyrolon® XT

    Style Number EX428

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