Racing Protection with Nomex® When Seconds Count
Over the years, the lessons learned at the track — literally trials by fire — have helped the racing industry improve every aspect of managing the threat of fire and protecting the people who provide the drama and spectacle of racing. Racing suits and apparel made with Nomex® are at the core of this safety improvement.
Nomex® Racing Suits Protect Driver & Crew
That's because racing apparel of DuPont™ Nomex® brand fiber plays a pivotal role in providing the valuable seconds racing professionals, like Jeff Gordon, need to escape fires that result from both on-track collisions and pit accidents. And this protection is long lasting. Whether it is found in protective suits, underwear, socks, or gloves, the exceptional flame resistance provided by Nomex® cannot be washed out or worn away.
Racing gear of Nomex® fiber is inherently flame-resistant. It also will not sustain combustion in air or melt when exposed to flame. Because Nomex® carbonizes and becomes thicker when exposed to intense heat; it forms a protective barrier between the heat source and the skin. This unique reaction to intense heat provides valuable escape time when fires occur and helps protect wearers against them.
When protective apparel is tested on Thermo-Man®, all systems are go
Thermo-Man® is one of the most advanced test methods for evaluating burn injury potential and measuring protective apparel performance. This scientific evaluation system for thermal burn injury is a six-foot, one-inch-tall manikin equipped with 122 heat sensors. Thermo-Man® can be exposed to various fire hazards through controlled burns to test burn protection properties of garment constructions, fabric weights, material types, and garment design styles. Results predict the amount, degree, and location of burn injuries that would be sustained by the wearer in a flash fire. DuPont scientists use this information to help apparel manufacturers develop optimum designs in lightweight, flame-resistant suits that equip drivers, pit crews, rescue teams, and track officials that are comfortable and provide ideal thermal protection.
Racing suits are just part of these professionals' protection. One of the most effective ways they enhance their safety on the track is to increase the number of layers they wear. Because it provides thorough body coverage from neck to wrists to ankles, long johns of Nomex® fiber form one of several layers driver and pit crews put on before race time.
On November 10, a film crew from CNN visited the DuPont Innovation Center in Meyrin, Switzerland, to film an interview with EMEA business leader Jean-Michel Gauthier, which included a demonstration of the DuPont™ Thermo-Man® testing unit, for The Circuit, CNN’s monthly 30-minute Formula 1 show. Watch the demonstration of a burn test of a Formula 1 garment made with Nomex® in comparison to a burn of a flame-resistant cotton garment.
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INFORMATION & IDEAS
- CNN profiles Nomex® and a Formula I racing suit
Nomex® & the Thermo-Man® Test
DuPont™ Thermo-Man® is a life-size mannequin equipped with 122 heat sensors dressed in test garments and exposed to a flash fire with temperatures rising up to 1,000°C.
Nomex® for Performance Durability
Garments made of Nomex® fibre have helped protect firefighters for decades. Continuous exhaustive testing proves that they excel in the long-term retention of their heat and flame protective qualities.
Nomex® for Lower Wear-Life Cost
Today’s firefighters need to be able to optimise budget vs. performance, without compromising on safety. For decades DuPont™ Nomex® fibre has demonstrated lasting protective performance, while helping to minimise repair and maintenance costs.
Nomex® for Heat Stress Protection
Heat stress is a dangerous condition in any situation, but for firefighters it can be especially life threatening. In fact, heat stress is the number-one cause of casualties among firefighters. Nomex® fibre helps reduce heat stress due to its higher air permeability.
Nomex® for Extra Seconds of Safety
Extensive testing shows that Nomex® fibre has remarkably low heat transfer. Under flash fire conditions, it helps provide firefighters valuable extra seconds of safety when they’re needed most.