Press Release : DuPont™ NOMEX® helps reduce burn injuries at chemical plant
The use of heat and flame protective clothing made of DuPont™ NOMEX® has helped to dramatically reduce the rate of accidental burn injuries over a four year period at a large chemical plant in South-West Germany. Up until 2003, each year between 20 and 25 accidents involving burns or scalds to arms and upper body areas had affected employees at the Degussa plant of Rohm GmbH, Worms, SW Germany. The introduction of a new safety campaign that included procurement of new protective clothing made of NOMEX® fibre has led to a reduction in accidents of 75%.
At its Degussa plant, Rohm employs around 1,000 people in the production of preliminary products used to make Plexiglas® and numerous methacrylate-based primary and auxiliary products for a wide range of plastics applications. Here, chemicals handled include substances such as acetone, hydrocyanic acid, ammonia, acetone-cyanhydrin, peroxide and sulphur trioxide.
Safety is a core element of company policy
The safety precautions for operating equipment and protecting employees are accordingly high. In addition to safety meetings that are held at least every month, an extensive, automated, computer-aided production process aims to achieve maximum safety and product efficiency, special monitoring systems are in place to detect even the slightest deviation from normal equipment operation, one in ten employees is a qualified safety officer (a quota ten times higher than the statutory requirement), and a great deal has been invested in staff and visitor training initiatives.
Andreas Strassner, one of the full-time safety specialists at the plant explained, Despite all the plant-specific safety precautions that are in place, we have to be aware that many of the substances handled here on site are highly flammable, oxidising, poisonous or caustic. Any little mistake when filling a tank, or when connecting/disconnecting a supply line can have serious consequences. Even routine tasks such as maintaining pipe connections and flanged joints are potentially dangerous. Although these pipelines are disconnected from running production beforehand, over a longer period there is a risk of being burnt or scalded.
Before the introduction of protective clothing made of NOMEX®, burns and scalds mostly affected the arms and upper body as these are generally the areas that come into contact with hot connection components or are unexpectedly exposed to hot steam. Andreas continued, Some of the accidents were classified as serious, not only causing suffering for the injured person, but also entailing follow-up costs for rehabilitation measures. To minimise accident numbers as much as possible and to better protect workers against these hazards, new protective clothing was procured in 2003, as part of the company’s zero accident objective.
NOMEX® Comfort offers built-in heat protection and permanent antistatic properties
In addition to excellent flame and heat protection, the clothing needed to provide permanent antistatic properties because of its use in explosion protection zones. The equipment also needed to be lightweight and comfortable to wear, offering the wearer considerable freedom of movement. Thanks to its composition of 93% NOMEX®, 5% KEVLAR® and 2% antistatic fibres, fabric made of NOMEX® Comfort offered the required performance characteristics without the need for chemical treatment. The addition of KEVLAR® to the fibre blend makes the fabric significantly more resistant to breaking up, as the fabric remains intact longer and offers great protection, even when exposed to intense heat or fire. The antistatic fibres (carbon fibres coated in polyamide) prevent the clothing from becoming statically charged.
The protective equipment comprises a jacket combined with either coverall or trousers. Thanks to its low basis weight of 265g/sq.m, the clothing is light in weight, and is practically as comfortable to wear as normal working clothes. In addition to the permanent flame-resistant and anti-static properties, the clothing also offers excellent thermal insulation. If a fluorocarbon treatment is applied, it further offers limited splash protection against acids and alkalis (Type 6) in accordance with EN 13034.
The introduction of the protective clothing was accompanied by viewing of a video that demonstrated flame tests of the clothing on the DuPont™ Thermo-man® system. The video reveals the performance of the new protective suits in comparison with the previously used cotton clothing. After exposure to flames for four seconds during the flame tests, the garment made of NOMEX® yielded 23% burns (11% second degree and 12% third degree) whereas the cotton clothing in mint condition yielded a total of 81% burns (15% second degree and 66% third degree). The video made it strikingly obvious that the new clothing offers much better protection, Andreas summed up.
In 2006, as a further motivational measure, 80 in-house training sessions on changing behaviour were carried out at Rohm and 40 facilitators were given training at special occupational health and safety days, at which they could further enhance their specialist knowledge in order to pass it on to their colleagues. According to Andreas, the results of an in-house assessment show that implementing a safety strategy and using modern protective equipment are all the more effective when employees are also able to take comprehensive information on board. According to the plant management, the improvements confirm that a zero accident policy is a realistic company objective.
DuPont industrial heat and flame protection seminar
ongside the Safety & Health Exhibition 07 at the NEC, Birmingham, UK on 24 May, a DuPont seminar on protection against burn injury in the industrial environment explained exactly why heat-and-flame-resistant fibre DuPont™ NOMEX® is one of the most trusted materials in the world when it comes to protective clothing. If DuPont’s extensive experience, continual R&D and NOMEX® Quality Partnership programme wasn’t enough to convince delegates, presentations from DuPont specialists, industry experts, endorsements from end-users and the "see-for-yourself" trial by fire of a range of garments on the DuPont™ THERMO-MAN® facility saw garments made of NOMEX® come out firmly on top¹ !
The effects of burn injury
According to provisional HSE statistics², in 2005/6 there were over 600 non-fatal but major burns and over 3000 burns requiring over 3 days absence from work.
Since 1992, Mr David Wilson, Consultant in Burns and Reconstructive Surgeon at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (the largest and most modern facility of its kind in the UK), specialist surgeon and trainer in the Territorial Army and session surgeon at Selly Oak Burns Unit, has witnessed hundreds of horrific occupational burn injuries, many of which have had devastating consequences on the victims and their families. Mr Wilson’s presentation of graphic information and pictures of the impact of some of these burn injuries was a sobering wake-up call to the importance of wearing adequate protective clothing when exposed to the risk of burn injury at work.
The DuPont NQP Programme : Extra testing, extra quality assurance, extra confidence
Andre Capt, Thermal Technical Leader at DuPont, informed delegates that as well as testing CE marked garments made of NOMEX® to all necessary European test standards, under the DuPont™ NOMEX® Quallity Partnership (NQP) programme, garment manufacturers wishing to include a NOMEX® label on their protective clothing must submit all garments to DuPont for testing on the DuPont™ THERMO-MAN® facility. Only when DuPont is satisfied that a garment meets all DuPont safety standards for the garment’s intended use, can a NOMEX® NQP label be attached and the garment be released to the market.
Better protection, extra comfort, value-for-money
Using a series of graphs and illustrations, Elaina Harvey, UK NOMEX® Account Manager for the Industrial Sector, explained the difference between garments made of heat-and-flame-resistant NOMEX® fibre and cotton-based fabrics that are surface or fibre treated with chemicals to make them flame retardant.
"NOMEX® provides reliable protection that is inherent in the fabric itself," she said. "Due to the unique blend of DuPont™ NOMEX®, DuPont™ KEVLAR® and P140 fibre used in garments made of NOMEX®, these garments offer increased durability and strength, a higher level of protection throughout their wear-life, lighter weight, excellent heat management properties and in many cases, increased softness next to the skin. Garments made of NOMEX® are also easily laundered and dimensionally stable, meaning they look good for longer. In fact, research has indicated that garments made of NOMEX® provide much better value for money than most FR treated garments as shown by analysis carried out on our fabrics after 200 washes and dries".
Care and maintenance
Richard Newton, representing the Textile Rental Industry and OPEQUE (Optimising Productivity by Engineering Quality and Efficiency), reminded delegates of their ongoing responsibilities once heat-and-flame protective garments had been selected and issued to employees. "The onus is on the employer to ensure PPE is continually fit for purpose, - not just at the outset - so regular inspection, cleaning and repair is necessary to guarantee protective garments are up to the job."
"Although managed service contracts come at a price, in my view it is a price worth paying for peace of mind," he said. The textile rental industry has through its trade association, The Textile Services Association (TSA) just launched a new industry guideline, specifying the requirements for the care and maintenance of PPE clothing and identifying the responsibilities of the provider, employer and wearer.
NOMEX® gives high level of protection in the petro-chemical industry
In an environment where quantities of petrol, diesel, aviation fuels, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), fuel oils, bitumen and crude oil are processed every day, the highest level of protection is paramount to the safety of people. Around 100 fire fighting garments made of NOMEX® are worn at the Petroplus refinery at Coryton, Essex.
Arnie Arnold, Emergency Response Specialist based at the refinery said, "Dependent on the application, fire fighters are protected with garments made of NOMEX®. These garments are lightweight and comfortable and comply with all the necessary safety requirements, taking into account studies by JOIFF and Petroplus protective clothing policies. Here at the refinery, we have protected our fire fighters with garments made of NOMEX® for many years, and we are currently working with Bristol Uniforms to design a new generation of fire kits made of NOMEX®.
And in the utility industry
At Fulcrum, a part of National Grid, utility engineers exposed to the risk of heat and flame have relied on the protection of garments made of NOMEX® for 5 years. Chris Trodd, HSEE&Q Compliance Manager said, "The gas industry eliminates where possible the hazards faced by staff, however there is a place for workwear in the hierarchy of controls we have. The selection of the correct level of protection is essential. Not only are there multi hazards to consider such as flame, electric arc and static electricity but the garments have to be wearable by the user. This means involving them in the process of selection. During our selection process we tried many systems. With garments made of NOMEX® we achieved a higher level of protection that would never wash out, reduced weight, improved durability and reduced costs. Most importantly our staff wear the clothing. Workwear can only protect you if it’s being worn when the unforeseen happens."
Shanoon Akhtar, Health and Safety Advisor for Morgan Est, a company that carries out underground pipe work on behalf of National Grid, attended the seminar. She said, "The event was very useful, both in terms of information and networking with other industry professionals."
For more information on DuPont’s next seminar or its range of protective clothing solutions, please visit www.dpp-europe.com
1. During the seminar, DuPont used the DuPont™ THERMO-MAN® facility to demonstrate to delegates the difference in protection levels of garments made of NOMEX® Comfort fibre and those made of FR treated cotton.
2. Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/
DuPont is ranked as world’s top green company
Issue number 5224
DuPont has been identified as the world’s Top Green Company in a special environmental report published in Business Week. Business Week teamed up with the Climate Group, Innovest Strategic Value Advisors (a green investment research firm) and a panel of independent experts to produce the report, issued 12 December 2005. The ranking was based on total reduction of greenhouse gases, the results relative to a company’s total size, and management’s leadership on environmental issues over the past 10 years.
DuPont has considerably reduced gas emissions and energy consumption since 1990 levels, saving more than $2 billion, including at least $10 million per year by using renewable resources. In the mid-1980s, DuPont began to manufacture and sell environmentally efficient alternatives for the CFC refrigerants that were destroying the earth’s protective ozone layer. Chad Holiday Jr, DuPont’s Chairman and CEO said that tackling climate change was a natural extension of that experience. After studying the data, we came to conclusion that the science was compelling and that action should be taken, he explained.
In 1994, DuPont set a target to cut gas emissions by 40% by the year 2000. Having met that target on time, the company set out to achieve a further 25% reduction in emissions by 2010. By the end of 2005, DuPont has already reduced greenhouse emissions by 72% from 1990 levels, while using 7% less energy and producing 30% more product.
Chad continued, We are pleased and honoured to receive this recognition. It is bases on over two decades of work by DuPont employees to drive sustainable growth throughout our culture – from our ideas and our science to our processes and products. It is a significant accomplishment and testament to the ability of DuPont to create shareholder and societal value while decreasing our environmental footprint along our value chains. Sustainable development is not only good for business, it is good for the long-term viability of the environment.
According to the report, although some companies face mandatory regulations limiting carbon emissions, more and more organisations are voluntarily measuring and slashing their greenhouse gas emissions – and are finding that this can lead to greater profits, new business opportunities and enhancement of green reputations.
The independent panel of international judges who compiled the report helped ensure that each of the companies and individuals listed deserves recognition as a leader in greenhouse gas reduction. The top five green companies are, in order of ranking, Dupont (US), BP (Britain), Bayer (Germany), BT (Britain) and Alcoa (US). The full report can be seen at Business Week Online (http://www.businessweek.com).
DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.
For more information, please visit www.dpp-europe.com, email Carolyn@mconieagency.com, or call 01483 237230.
"The DuPont Oval™, DuPont™ andThe miracles of science™ are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.
Bringing down heat stress
Issue number 5090
At Interschutz, DuPont Personal Protection presented an improved concept for the development of heat-stress reducing, flame-resistant clothing. DuPont started investigating heat stress as a performance-reducing risk factor some years ago. Now, the DuPont™ SAM (Sweating Articulated Mannequin) and thermographic analysis have provided two evaluation methods, with which DuPont aims to bring down heat stress through flame and heat-protective clothing.
It is not just European Fire & Rescue Services that are beginning to pay more attention to heat stress ; recent statistics indicate that people in the USA are becoming increasingly aware of the risks of heat and physical stress. Physical stress was involved in a quarter of the 88,000 accidents in fire-brigade call-outs registered between 1995 and 2000 (statistics from the National Fire Protection Association) and it was also responsible for death in 46% of fatal accidents (according to the US Fire Administration). In addition to the physical condition of fire officers, increasing attention is being paid to the design of protective clothing. Instead of the old, heavy fire-proof suits, American fire officers are tending to use lighter clothing of the type that is worn in Europe.
SAM sweating for the fire brigade
In order to work on the minimisation of heat stress on a scientifically sound and verifiable basis, DuPont, in conjunction with the EMPA Swiss Research Institute for Material Sciences and Technology, is initiating a new test. Here a holistic approach is taken, integrating all the factors contributing to the occurrence of heat stress such as sweating, heat flow and the design of protective clothing. SAM, the mobile Sweating Articulated Mannequin, is a test dummy with sensors to measure moisture and temperature. Several factors such as the level of sweating, room temperature, relative humidity, running speed and wind speed can be set as required. The aim of this computer-assisted evaluation program is to discover how moisture is transported through all layers of clothing and how radiated heat affects the moist layers.
Thermographic analysis for tests under real conditions
With thermographic analysis, DuPont investigates protective clothing concepts under real conditions of use. It involves subjecting a test person (e.g. a fireman) to active physical stress and recording the heat distribution and transport of perspiration on body and clothing by means of a thermographic camera. In this way invaluable findings can be made regarding the clothing design, weak points can be localised and the effectiveness of complete protective equipment can be assessed. Thermographic analysis is particularly suitable for investigating multi-layered systems, aiming to minimise heat and perspiration and, finally, the risk of vapour burns.
Ideal balance between protection and comfort
The new analytical processes will be carried out in future by DuPont in addition to the flame tests on Thermo-Man®, in order to find the ideal balance between protection and wearability. Tests using SAM and thermographic analysis give us valuable additional information far exceeding that on the protective effect of workwear, explains Nicole Peschke from the DuPont Personal Protection Team. We are giving designers and end users the chance to find out more about the way their protective clothing concepts work and to make improvements in terms of heat stress on the basis of this knowledge.
In a world in which safety is treated with increasing importance, DuPont Personal Protection, specialist in personal protection from chemicals, heat, cuts and abrasion, constantly strives via its Research & Development Department to come up with new solutions for the comfort and safety of people at work. For more information on DuPont Personal Protection, please visit www.dpp-europe.com, contact Carolyn Buss at The McOnie Agency on tel 01483 237230 or email : Carolyn@mconieagency.com.
A Day on Safety Seminars - Are you properly protected ?
Issue number 5123
DuPont Personal Protection and a major respiratory manufacturer are sponsoring a series of A Day on Safety seminars. The first seminar is to be held in Aberdeen on Tuesday 6th September to coincide with Offshore Europe 2005, and two more will be held in November one in Teesside and one in the Wirral. The seminars, aimed at safety professionals in industry and public service, will provide delegates with valuable information on legislative issues in addition to guidance on the selection and use of PPE and RPE.
A Day on Safety will be beneficial to all those involved in the specification or purchasing of safety equipment for industries where workers are exposed to common hazards such as dusts and fibres, chemicals, fumes, flash fire, general grease and dirt, and the risk of cut and abrasion to hands and arms.
Throughout the day, detailed presentations by technical experts from DuPont Personal Protection and the respiratory manufacturer will combine with hands-on workshops to cover legislation, risk analysis, identification of hazards and the selection and maintenance of protective clothing and respiratory equipment. The PPE workshops, arranged in small groups, offer delegates the opportunity to discuss with the technical experts any PPE issues relating to their specific industries.
Delegates who attended A Day on Safety in Kilkenny earlier this year commented : "The day was structured well with informative presentations. It was well organised and the venue was superb" ; "I found it very informative and interesting" ; "Thanks for excellent presentations in an exceptional environment in wonderful weather !" ; "Good presentations - useful & interesting and useful workshops".
CPD points can be allocated for IOSH members who attend A Day on Safety. Administration of these events are carried out by The McOnie Agency on behalf of the sponsors. To book a place at ADOS, Aberdeen, Teesside or the Wirral or to request a registration form, please contact Alison Green at The McOnie Agency , tel : 01483 237230, email Alison@mconieagency.com. Delegates are advised to register early as places are limited.
For further details, please call Alison Green at The McOnie Agency on +44 (0)1483 237230 or email email@example.com.
DuPont Safety & Protection is focused on finding solutions to protect people, property, operations and the environment by leveraging and expanding 200 years of DuPont experience as one of the safest companies in the world ; its recognized excellence in science and technology ; and its knowledge of key markets. DuPont () is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by solving problems and creating solutions that make people’s lives better, safer and easier. Operating in more than 70 countries, the company offers a wide range of products and services to markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel. Information about DuPont in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region is available in all major European languages at.
DuPont marks 40th anniversary of NOMEX® flame resistant fibre ...
DuPont™ NOMEX®, the heat resistant fibre used in products ranging from protective apparel to electrical insulation, marks its 40th anniversary this year. NOMEX® brand fibre, is an inherently flame-resistant, high-temperature fibre that will not melt, drip or support combustion in air. It provides outstanding chemical resistance across a diverse range of applications and is offered in paper, felt, fabric and fibre forms, but it is perhaps best known as a critical component in protective apparel.
Due to its unique combination of flame protection, durability and mobility, today more than three million firefighters around the world are protected by turnout gear, stationwear and accessories made of NOMEX®. The fibre is also is used in apparel worn by military pilots and combat vehicle crew ; auto racing drivers, pit crew members and track officials ; and industrial workers at risk from flash fire and electric arc hazards.
William J. Harvey, vice president and general manager – DuPont Advanced Fibers Systems said, "The world is a safer and more energy efficient place as a result of NOMEX® and its innovative applications. Over four decades, the NOMEX® brand has become synonymous with safety and protection. We continue to invest aggressively in the development of new NOMEX® applications to help solve the world’s evolving needs.
DuPont introduced NOMEX® in woven and non-woven forms in 1967. While NOMEX® grew out of fundamental R&D work done by Paul Morgan and Stephanie Kwolek, Wilfred Sweeny unveiled the discoveries leading to the final development of NOMEX® at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, USA (the company’s global R&D headquarters). Building on the earlier research, Sweeny found a way to make a high-molecular-weight product that could be spun into a tough crystallisable fiber (later named NOMEX®) that possessed outstanding thermal and flame-resistant properties. In 2002, Sweeny was recognised for his contributions with a Lavoisier Medal, the highest honor of science excellence awarded by DuPont.
Committed to continuing to deliver innovation and strong customer service, DuPont last year announced a $100 million global expansion plan to increase worldwide capacity for NOMEX® and support exciting new applications.
Over the last 40 years in the UK, safety innovations surrounding NOMEX® have included :
• Thermal Assessment : Equipment to measure the performance of thermal protective apparel when exposed to fire, ie the DuPont™ THERMO-MAN®, the DuPont™ ARC-MAN® and the DuPont™ Molten Metal Man.
• NOMEX® Metal Pro - a multi-component protective yarn (patent pending), using a new type of NOMEX® fibre with inherent flame-resistance and KEVLAR® fibre.
• NOMEX® Tough Plus - a new outer fabric with low surface weight and improved thermal properties.
• Increased comfort in garments made of NOMEX®, brought into the market via DuPont’s NQP partners and new colours of NOMEX® Comfort.
In addition to its use in protective apparel, NOMEX® brand paper has been providing high-performance electrical insulation for motors, transformers and generators for decades. The electrical, mechanical and thermal properties offered by NOMEX® help extend the life of electrical equipment, as well as reduce premature failures and repairs. Honeycomb of NOMEX® paper is used for lightweight structural support and helps substantially improve the performance of most commercial aircraft. NOMEX® paper can also be found in consumer appliances, industrial equipment and transportation equipment such as high-speed trains.
DuPont supports JOIFF with its new handbook on PPE selection, use, care and maintenance
OIFF the Organisation for Emergency Services Management - has published a new PPE handbook for people who select heat-and-flame protective clothing and equipment, which JOIFF Member DuPont has printed and is distributing in conjunction with JOIFF.
The handbook, entitled "PPE to protect against heat and flame" contains a wealth of information on all aspects of heat-and-flame protective equipment and clothing, from risk assessment, the EU certification system, heat stress management and safety standards through to garment design and selection, sizing and care and maintenance.
As Alec Feldman BBS, MA, FIFireE representative of JOIFF, pointed out to delegates at a recent DuPont seminar, "One of the main problems with buying PPE is that the user can have very limited access to relevant information, which means that they are very much in the hands of the garment or equipment manufacturer with regard to materials, design, delivery and maintenance etc. This Handbook has been drawn up to provide JOIFF members with information and background detail to enable them to make informed decisions as to the most suitable type of PPE to provide for their personnel. Information is included to give purchasers and users of PPE a greater understanding of the reasons for using PPE, some of the issues relating to PPE, in particular to PPE to protect against heat and flame, and to highlight the importance of selecting the correct type of PPE based on the results of a risk assessment. As a result of unanimous acceptance of the detail during the consultancy process, the Handbook is now part of the JOIFF Standard."
JOIFF represents organisations dealing with high hazard materials and with nominated emergency responders such as hazard management teams and occupational fire fighters who provide cover for industrial and commercial organizations. Through offering JOIFF accredited training courses, discussion forums and a technical advisory group, its aim is to improve standards of safety and of the working environment in industrial commercial sectors in which its members operate.
For more information on DuPont’s range of protective clothing solutions, please visit www.dpp-europe.com . For a copy of the JOIFF Handbook on PPE to protect against heat and flame, please contact Elaina Harvey, UK NOMEX® Account Manager - DuPont Personal Protection
Mobile : +44 7881 836588 Fax : +44 1283 735576, Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety and Sustainability – DuPont hosts 1-day conference to explore the link.
ety management is increasingly viewed as a strategic link to business sustainability - but can a safety programme really help to deliver sustainable growth in the long term ? On 18th October 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland, safety innovator DuPont - in partnership with the Institute for Management Development (IMD) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) – will host a conference in which the inherent link between safety and sustainability will be explored by representatives from a variety of leading international businesses and organizations.
The comprehensive conference programme includes a series of presentations and a choice of panel sessions led by top-level industry professionals from organizations including : Sustainability Asset Management, Sandoz, Endesa, Institute for Management Development, Toyota Motors Europe, GTZ, US Steel, International Labor Organisation, M.O.L, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Alcan Packaging, Henkel, TNT North Star Foundation, Rompetrol , ABN AMRO and DuPont Bio-Based Materials.
These sessions, which aim to cater for all business needs, will investigate :
How safety can strengthen sustainability strategies
Whether safety requires stakeholder engagement to be sustainable
How safety can be integrated to achieve sustainable operations
Whether the business case for safety differs from sustainability
How safety has affected sustainability for DuPont
The science company DuPont is well-placed to host a conference on sustainable solutions for safety and business. The company has a long history of safety and has transformed itself several times over since it began as an explosives business in 1802. With a constant challenge to build a stronger company, help solve the world’s toughest challenges, and build a brighter future for people and the planet, DuPont has been awarded patents for more than 34,000 inventions in the last 200 years, many of which have given the modern age its look and feel - and many of its most useful materials.
Chad Holliday, CEO and Chief Executive of DuPont, explained this in a recent speech1, In the DuPont archives there is a handwritten document from 1811 with our first safety rules. You also can read our first statement of environmental responsibility, which was created in 1938. At the start of our most recent transformation to a science company we said our mission is sustainable growth - putting our science to work to develop sustainable, global solutions, not only for our customers but for people everywhere.
Talking about DuPont’s objectives, Chad continued in that same speech, In the 1970s and 1980s our focus was on internal safety and meeting environmental regulations. In the late 1980s and 1990s we added voluntary footprint reductions, going beyond regulatory requirements. We looked to increase shareholder value with a goal of zero safety and environmental incidents as we decreased raw material and energy inputs into our products and reduced emissions at our manufacturing sites. Now we see ourselves in a third phase of sustainable growth, characterized by a holistic approach that is fully integrated into our business models. In this phase, sustainability is broadened to include human safety as well as environmental protection, and it becomes our market-driven business priority throughout the value chain.
Sustainable growth means creating value for our shareholders and for society by developing products that the market demands - and which also are good for the environment and for the health, safety and well-being of people everywhere. Many companies say that what’s good for the environment can also be good for business. We have the view that what’s good for business must be good for the environment and for people worldwide or you are not moving toward sustainable growth.
Registration for a place at the Leaders Forum is open to all individuals, companies and organisations in the EMEA region. Limited funds are available to support participant registration from non-governmental and international organisations. For more information please visit : http://www.leadersforum.dupont.com/
1. Source : http://www2.dupont.com/Sustainability/en_US/
DuPont : Protecting the past, present and future of the Royal Air Force
or over twenty-five years, Royal Air Force (RAF) air crews the world over have relied on flame resistant clothing with the protection of NOMEX® brand fibre to minimize burn injury in the event of fire or explosion. Today, in addition to specifying NOMEX® for its current issue flying suits, the Royal Air Force has identified two more, very different areas of operation where high performance safety clothing from DuPont provides a solution. The RAF Museum in Cosford, UK has initiated the use of TYVEK® to protect its valuable collection of uniforms, and ground support crews at an RAF base in Northern Europe carry out aircraft maintenance operations wearing new TYCHEM®F chemical protective coveralls.
FLYING HIGH WITH THE CONFIDENCE OF NOMEX®
Specialist textiles company Dale Techniche Ltd designs and manufactures a wide range of heat and flame resistant garments incorporating NOMEX® for people exposed to the risk of burn injury. Garments include flying suits made of NOMEX® for the RAF, air ambulance services, police air support units and NOMEX® display suits for pilots in all three arms of the MOD – the army, the RAF and the Royal Navy. Wearing stylish NOMEX® flying suits, the Red Arrows teams – the public face of the RAF - demonstrate the professional excellence of the RAF and promote recruitment into the RAF at events worldwide.
Alan Waggett, Textile Designer and Managing Director of Dale Techniche, explains, Given the possible close proximity between fuel and the pilot, wearing a heat and flame resistant flying suit made of NOMEX® is highly recommended. In the aviation and racing driving industries, a NOMEX® coverall is synonymous with quality and protection. We use NOMEX III as it is hard-wearing and inherently highly protective ; but at the same time it is soft and breathable, affording a great deal of flexibility and comfort to the wearer.
The coveralls for the Display Team flying are a small but important work package for Mr.Mark Hoggett, the specialist MoD Aircrew Equipment Project Manager, based at RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire. He stated, ‘The flash fire protection offered by the garment is critical. In addition the excellent tailored coveralls produced by Dale Techniche gives the correct public image for both air and ground crews engaged with the highly demanding discipline of military display flying from teams that represent all three Services.’’
TYVEK® - PROTECTING THE PAST FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Moving into a previously unchartered area, DuPont has teamed up with garment manufacturer Contamination Control Apparel Ltd (CCA) to donate to the RAF Museum in Cosford, England a total of 4,600 purpose-made garment covers made of DuPont™ TYVEK®. Used largely in protective coveralls to protect people who work in industrial environments against contamination by harmful or dirty substances, or protect processes from human contamination ; light weight and breathable TYVEK® was identified by the RAF Museum as an ideal material with which to protect its vast uniform collection from dirt, liquid splashes, moth infestation and general dust whilst in storage.
The collection encompasses garments of all types worn by the Royal Air Force and its predecessor Services in the First World War – the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. Andrew Cormack, Keeper of Visual Arts, Medals and Uniforms said : With the aid of TYVEK®, the Museum will be better able to preserve this heritage and thereby make it available to future generations in good condition. Because TYVEK® material is inert, breathable, and dust-repellent it is ideally suited to this conservation usage according to the RAF assessment. Also, unlike many plastic covers, TYVEK® has an antistatic treatment and therefore will not attract airborne particulate soiling. CCA has supplied a range of covers in three sizes to accommodate the wide range of garments we have to store.
Paul Clow, Regional Manager for DuPont Personal Protection in Europe, said, The Museum’s collection is an important part of the UK’s heritage and DuPont is proud to be a part of this. We are delighted to join forces with CCA to provide the uniform covers, and are very much looking forward to being involved with the Museum and the new Cold War exhibition in 2007.
TYCHEM® CHEMICAL PROTECTION FOR AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS
Like TYVEK® material, DuPont™ TYCHEM® is highly protective, lightweight and comfortable. TYCHEM® offers excellent chemical and biological protection for people who may be exposed to many chemicals, biological agents and other hazardous substances. TYCHEM® C2 and F2 suits integrate features that have been designed to optimize their functionality in specific applications. After considerable research, TYCHEM®F2 garments have been specified as ideal for use in aircraft maintenance operations, and have already been put to use by RAF aircraft maintenance crews in Northern Europe.
The materials of which TYCHEM®F2 are made have undergone sophisticated testing for chemical permeability and mechanical properties. More than one hundred chemicals have been tested in this way by independent laboratories and the results indicate that TYCHEM®F2 gives a high level of protection against many highly concentrated inorganic and organic chemicals. The protective suit material has also been subjected to anti-static treatment on the inside, to avoid the build-up of electrostatic charges where humidity exceeds 25%, complying with the requirements of standard EN 1149.
Katijaana Saranjen, DuPont Personal Protection Sales & Marketing Manager for Scandinavia explains, The new TYCHEM® F2 suit provides Type 3 protection against pressurized liquid chemicals, Type 4 protection against liquid aerosols, Type 5 protection against solid airborne chemical particles and Type 6 limited protection against liquid spray. Due to these properties and the innovative design of the suit, it offers excellent protection for aircraft maintenance operations where operatives can be at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals, fuel and oils, including kerosene which is commonly used in jet engines.
DuPont Announces NOMEX® Manufacturing Partner Network
Goal : to Ensure Quality of Heat Protective Garments
DuPont, manufacturer of flame resistant fibre NOMEX®, is establishing a NOMEX® Quality Partner (NQP) network in Europe. Together with DuPont, a select number of spinners, fabric and garment producers will form closer product development and marketing links to deliver high performance heat and flame protective garments for use in Europe.
NOMEX® has set the standard in heat and flame protective apparel since its launch in 1967 and emergency services and workers in hazardous industries in over 80 countries around the world now benefit from its superior quality and continuous innovation.
According to Véronique Bernat, EMEA NOMEX® Industrial Marketing Manager, Western Europe leads the world in many aspects of health and safety and this is reflected in both legislation and user expectations. It’s a challenging but potentially profitable growth opportunity for high quality products that combine outstanding performance with value.
As markets become more demanding, the close alignment of supply chain resources is increasingly important to competitive success. DuPont expects the NOMEX® Quality Partner network to include between thirty and forty suppliers who share its commitment to quality and service, and that its development will get the benefits of innovation to the marketplace in efficient, cost-effective ways.
Our partners have long-standing relationships with European end users and detailed knowledge of their needs, says Véronique Bernat. We bring a global perspective and unique competence in high-tech fibre science. The NQP approach will enable us to jointly anticipate and meet future market challenges with speed and insight.
NQP partners will have privileged access to NOMEX® fibre innovation and DuPont’s technical expertise and its state-of-the art product testing facilities, including the unique THERMO-MAN® and ARC-MAN® instruments that enable the quality and performance of finished garments to be precisely monitored.
Garments that meet DuPont performance standards will be identified by the NPQ Seal on new NOMEX® labels. These indicate not only that the fabric used in construction meets or exceeds international standards for heat and flame protection, but also that the finished product has been extensively tested so buyers can be confident about superior performance in use.
For more information on the NOMEX® Quality Partner programme and details of participating garment manufacturers and their products, visit www.dpp-europe.com.
DuPont™ THERMO-MAN® comes to the NEC ! - Safety & Health Expo, 22-24 May
At this year’s Safety & Health Expo, 22-24 May at NEC Birmingham, DuPont is marking 40 years of innovation in the design and manufacture of its high quality protective clothing solutions : TYVEK®, TYCHEM®, PROSHIELD®, NOMEX® and KEVLAR®.
Products on display on DuPont’s Stand no. T40 at Safety Expo will include TYVEK®, TYCHEM® and PROSHIELD® coveralls and accessories that offer protection against chemical and biological hazards, grease and dirt1 ; heat-and-flame-protective garments made from NOMEX® brand fibre and cut-and-abrasion-resistant gloves and accessories made from KEVLAR® brand fibre.
Alongside the Safety Expo, in Fire & Rescue 07, DuPont will be marking the 40th anniversary of NOMEX® by using its unique DuPont™ THERMO-MAN® facility to demonstrate the importance of wearing adequate protection when exposed to the risk of heat, flame and electric arc. When subjected to flash fire in a controlled environment, heat sensors on a six-foot mannequin are able to evaluate areas of burn injury, time to burn injury and degree of burn injury when the mannequin is dressed in various protective garments. Garments "under fire" in specific demonstrations will include protective garments made of traditional and surface-treated flame-retardant materials, Fire, Police and MOD Service kits made of NOMEX® and industrial garments made of NOMEX®.
In addition to a Stand at the Safety & Health Expo and the DuPont™ THERMO-MAN® facility at Fire & Rescue 07, the DuPont Personal Protection team will be running a free seminar at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel on Thursday 24th May. The seminar aims to give industrial safety & health and/or procurement professionals a unique opportunity to obtain valuable technical information about the properties of DuPontTM NOMEX® and a guide to specifying or using flame resistant solutions in the industrial market. The afternoon of the seminar includes a visit to the DuPont™ THERMO-MAN® facility situated close by at the Fire & Rescue 07 Show.
Paul Clow, Regional Manager for DuPont Personal Protection in Europe, explained, "THERMO-MAN® testing is part of the service that DuPont offers to allow continual evaluation and improvement of PPE. This means that DuPont and the manufacturers of NOMEX® brand garments can together be proactive in supplying the correct protective garments for people who are exposed to the risk of heat, flames and electric arc. The protective qualities of garments can differ greatly, but seeing is believing. The THERMO-MAN® demonstrations give us an invaluable opportunity to demonstrate this to the people who have responsibility for evaluating and selecting protective clothing for workers exposed to these risks. We are delighted to be taking the facility to the Show."
A layered garment made of NOMEX® can absorb the bulk of the radiant heat energy caused by electric arc or flash fire, and helps minimise the burn injury level through its inherent flame resistant properties. In comparative tests, flame resistant, protective utility garments made of NOMEX® score very highly on the safety scale in relation to other garments made of conventional fabrics, and they often exceed the relevant European and International Standards.
To see for yourself, visit DuPont at Safety & Health Expo and Fire & Rescue Expo 07. To book a slot at the DuPont Industrial Seminar & Demonstration, please contact Elaina Harvey on 07881 836588.
For information on the various protection levels of DuPont’s range of coveralls, see a member of the DuPont Personal Protection team or visit www.dpp-europe.com.
Empowering the nation’s utility workforce with the protection of NOMEX®
The risk of exposure to electric arc is a hot topic when working with electricity. No matter how many steps are taken to minimize the potential for an accident, it is crucial to be prepared for the worst, as Paul Reader, Empower’s 1 electrical training specialist reiterates week after week at Empower’s purpose-built, £2 million training centre, housed beneath the cooling towers of Ratcliffe Power Station in Nottinghamshire. Having witnessed the latest technologies, exacting standards and attention to detail at DuPont’s garment testing facility in Geneva, Paul recommends the use of flame resistant protective coveralls such as those made of DuPont™ NOMEX®.
Empower, a leading provider of training services to a host of major UK utility and manufacturing companies, is the UK’s only Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) for Electrical Power. The company specialises in training technical staff and engineers in everything from safety management to cable jointing. Paul explained, There is a common misconception amongst people who are highly experienced in electrical work that an electric arc won’t happen to them or if it does, it won’t be powerful enough for them to come to serious harm. On the contrary, however low the risk, when working with low or high voltage systems, equipment failure and/or human error have the potential to cause an electric arc generating up to 30’000°C in the core plasma of the arc - in a split second. When an electric arc occurs, there is no warning, and in worst-case scenarios, if inadequately protected, people can suffer fatalities or burn injuries that can affect them and their families for years.
Wearing Personal Protective Equipment as a last resort is as important as carrying out risk assessments and applying mechanical control measures to reduce the risk of accidents. It is vital for people at risk of exposure to electric arc or flash fire to put a final protective barrier in place by wearing the appropriate flame resistant clothing. As a CoVE, we strive for excellence in everything we do and that includes providing our delegates with the very best advice on the very best PPE – including NOMEX®.
The purpose of protective clothing made of DuPont™ NOMEX® is to address the thermal effects – i.e. burn injury hazard – of exposure to flash fire and/or electric arc. Layered garments made of NOMEX® can stand the arc blast, absorb the bulk of the radiant heat energy caused by electric arc or flash fire, and help minimise the burn injury level through its inherent flame resistant properties. Designed with a high level of safety and comfort in mind, garment systems made of NOMEX® are evaluated according to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the Standard IEC 61482-1. In addition to meeting the performance requirements for CE-certification, fabrics and garments made of NOMEX® must be submitted to DuPont’s testing facility in Geneva, in order to qualify for partnership in the NOMEX® Quality Programme (NQP) - which entitles manufacturers to attach a NOMEX® label to a garment. Here in Geneva, they undergo a series of special tests and evaluations for heat and flame protection, heat stress management, wear-life, comfort, aesthetics and design.
The DuPont™ Arc-Man® Testing
The DuPont™Arc-Man®, a set-up consisting of a mannequin or panels with built in temperature sensors on their surfaces (skin), is used to test garments that are designed to protect against the thermal effects of electric arc. The mannequin, wearing the garment system in question, or panels covered with fabrics, is exposed to an electric arc in a controlled environment to test whether the systems or single fabric layers can prevent second-degree burns. The Arc-Man® testing facility, uses a circuit generator that can produce 500 MVA, 60 MJ. Arc currents up to 15kA are possible with a duration in the range between 100ms and 2 second. Under these circumstances, there are two typical test set-ups and procedures :
• The international standard IEC 61482-1 (open arc test), which is currently under revision (future IEC 61482-1-1) specifies 2 test methods to measure the arc thermal performance value (ATPV) of materials or garments. The Method A is used to measure the fabric’s response to arc exposure when tested in a flat configuration. Method B is used to measure the clothing response to an arc exposure and shows the effects on the garment, sewing thread, fastenings, fabrics and other accessories when tested on a mannequin torso.
Testing is typically done with an open arc at 8 kA and of varying arc duration in order to achieve the desired incident energy onto the test specimen. The ATPV is the value of the incident energy (usually given in cal/cm2 or kJ/m2) on a fabric or material that results in sufficient heat transfer through the fabric or material to cause the onset of a second-degree burn injury based on the Stoll-Chianta curve model. On a basic level, when selecting a clothing system, the higher the ATPV, the better the protection.
• The second test set-up and procedure is covered in the new IEC 61482-1-2:2007 (box test or arc in box test), which supersedes ENV 50354:2001 and CLC/TS 50354:2003 (The two superseded standards did not require heat flux measurements, but based the performance rating only on visual evaluation of test results). The test set-up consists of a bipolar arrangement of electrodes - -, which is surrounded by a box, which is open on one side only. The effects of the electric arc are thus constrained and directed towards the one panel or mannequin positioned at the open side in 30 cm distance from the centreline of the box. The test has been designed to be carried out in two fixed test classes (Class 1 or 2), selected by the amount of prospective short circuit current (4kA or 7kA). The test voltage 400V and the duration of the electric arc 500 ms are the same for both test classes. Materials and clothing will be tested with two methods : The Material box test method is used to measure the material response to the exposure of an arc constrained by the specific box of this test method, when the material is in a flat configuration on top of a panel. A quantitative measurement of the arc thermal performance is made by means of the energy transmitted through the material. The Garment box test method is used to test the function of the protective clothing after an arc exposure including all the garment findings, sewing tread, fastenings and other accessories, no heat flux will be measured.
The essential differences between the test methods of IEC 61482-1 (or the future IEC 61482-1-1) (open arc test) and of IEC 61482-1-2 (box test) is that the open arc test has been designed to define and evaluate a protection parameter such as is the ATPV, which can be attributed to a material or garment as a product specific protection property, whereas the box test allows only a classification of materials and garments into two arc protection classes in case of exposure in front of a very specific box : Class 1 (4 kA), Class 2 (7 kA). In practice there can be higher risks than the Box-test Class 2, different arc enclosing boxes, etc. The most common classification of risks and protective clothing performance according to ATPV values is given by the NFPA 70E standard. It defines 4 risk categories and corresponding arc ratings for protective clothing : Category 1 : ATPV > 4cal/cm2, Category 2 : ATPV > 8 cal/cm2, Category 3 : ATPV > 25 cal/cm2, Category 4 : ATPV > 40 cal/cm2.
In any case, a risk analysis shall clarify the actual risk of exposure to an electric arc. And the testing according to both above mentioned IEC standards refers only to the thermal effects of an electric arc ; it does not apply to other effects like noise, light emissions, pressure rise, hot oil, electric shock, the consequences of physical and mental shock, toxic or other influences caused by the decomposition of enclosures, etc.
But already the part of assessing the risk of thermal exposure in terms of incident energy is not an easy task. Elaina Harvey, Marketing Representative from DuPont Personal Protection, explained, When talking about the incident energy relevant for the evaluation of the performance and the selection of arc-protective clothing, one is actually talking about values of incident energy per surface area, e.g. in units of cal/cm2. The calculated incident energy, against which protection is needed, comes from the end user’s risk assessment. The incident energy will depend on :
• arc current i.e. fault value (kA)
• arc voltage (V)
• arc duration (milliseconds)
• distance from worker to arc (cm)
• electrode spacing (cm) and kind of electrode material (copper, aluminium, iron…)
• whether single or triple phase electrical circuit
• whether in an open or a box environment, and on the dimensions and materials of the box.
How to obtain the incident energy value
There are various ways that end users can carry out a risk assessment to obtain this calculated incident energy value from simplistic free of charge computer calculators to in-depth statistical studies. Meanwhile several companies offer their help to carry out an arc flash survey.
One of them is EmPower Training which can provide advice in carrying out a risk assessment and training courses.
EA Technology 2 is an organisation that can carry out an arc flash assessment to determine specific incident energy levels and this is tailored to the end user’s network and operation. Therefore, PPE is one element of their arc flash study, other factors being assessed includes the reduction in electrical protection settings and network fault levels along with the operational practices.
TAS Engineering Consultants 3 has been carrying out electrical arc flash hazard studies since 1995 and has extensive experience in this field ; the work is tailored to suit the individual site and circumstances. A typical approach is to survey the site electrical distribution system, develop a single-line diagram, carry out a protection setting study, then calculate the electrical fault levels at each point in the system. With this in place, TAS then analyse the potential arc energy levels to IEEE 1584 parameters at each point in the distribution system and advise on the appropriate FR PPE, such as DuPont™ NOMEX®, to be used to safely operate the electrical equipment at each point in the system. Guidance is then given on rationalising all the information into one or two levels of FR PPE for use site-wide to cater for all circumstances.
As an example, if the end user risk assessment requires clothing to protect from 22 cal/cm2 then DuPont with the garment and fabric manufacturer, can recommend layered systems to achieve the protection required - in this case perhaps a double layer of light weight NOMEX® Comfort fabric over cotton underwear. If underwear is taken in to account when recommending the system, steps must be taken to ensure that employees are supplied with and wear the undergarments. If not, it is important to advise that, worn in high risk environments, undergarments made from fabrics like polyester and nylon (e.g. football shirts) can stick and melt onto the skin and cause further burn injury in the event of a flash fire or electric arc.
TAS uses two products that assist in the analysis, and detection, of arcing faults. These are the Arc Flash PTW software module, and the Falcon Arc Detection System, both supplied by CEE Relays Ltd 4, part of a protection relay manufacturing group.
CEE Relays Ltd. has been supplying the Power*Tools for Windows (PTW) power system analysis software for the last 20 years. The software consists of several modules including the Arc Flash module allowing users to quickly, and easily, calculate the incident energy caused by an arcing fault, investigate ways of reducing this energy, and identify suitable grades of protective clothing. Using the full suite of PTW software, CEE Relays Ltd. also carries out all types of power system analysis, including arc flash analysis, and can also train engineers in the use of the software. As well as a wide range of protection relays, CEE Relays Ltd. also supplies the Falcon Arc Detection System. The arc detectors, which can be retrofitted into existing switchgear, detect the light created by an arc, and issue trip signals within 1ms. This fast response time significantly reduces the damage caused by an arcing fault.
The DuPont™ Thermo-Man® Testing
It is also important to protect from flash fire, which could occur after the arc incident, for example - if there are ignitable contaminates on the garments or around the working environment. NOMEX® systems can be assessed on Thermo-Man®, a life-size mannequin equipped with 122 heat sensors and exposed to a flash fire with temperatures rising to 1000°C. Data collected from the heat sensors, both during and after exposure to flames, predict the amount and location of second and third-degree burns. The chance of survival rates can also be predicted across certain age groups, which is important information that can be used in helping companies specify NOMEX® systems if they have an ageing workforce.
Elaina Harvey continued. PPE worn for protection against the thermal effects of electric arc should provide permanent flame resistance, not melt or ignite, resist break-open during exposure and insulate the wearer from heat so as to minimize burn injury. The principle of selection of PPE is that the arc rating of PPE exceeds the calculated incident energy of the arc for each specific working environment identified during the risk assessment. Garments made of NOMEX® are designed to offer excellent protection and comfort. NOMEX® brand meta-aramid fibres do not drip or melt at high temperatures.The Limiting Oxygen Index of NOMEX® is approximately 28. Thus, when exposed to flame at room temperature in a normal environment, NOMEX® will not continue to burn and will self extinguish, when the flame is removed. At temperatures above approximately 427°C NOMEX carbonizes and forms a tough char. Garments made of NOMEX® have a high resistance to ignition and break open and because they are inherently flame resistant (as opposed to having only a flame retardant coating), this protection is permanent and cannot be washed out or worn away.
Paul Reader from Empower said, As electrical training specialists, we are keen to develop technical partnerships with solutions providers and manufacturers of safety clothing and equipment intended for use in the utility and manufacturing industries. That way we can understand how and why products are developed, learn about the science behind the products and gain first hand experience of how they react in various environments, applications and situations. This information can then cascade through us to end users to improve their level of understanding of the risks and their effects.
We were delighted to be invited to DuPont’s European Technical Centre in Geneva to learn more about the technology behind NOMEX® and watch garments made of NOMEX® being put through rigorous electric arc and flash fire tests. In comparative tests, flame resistant, protective utility garments made of NOMEX® scored very highly on the safety scale in relation to other garments made of conventional fabrics, and they often exceeded the relevant European and International Standards. Through working with their customers to develop new solutions for the safety and protection of people at work, companies like DuPont are instrumental in improving the safety culture in today’s working environments. Large power and manufacturing companies are driving the trend for better employee safety and thanks to this, many more companies are starting to recognize the importance of supplying protective workwear garments that offer high performance characteristics like NOMEX®.
DuPont is exhibiting at the Safety & Health Expo at the NEC, Birmingham, UK on 22-24 May 07. The DuPont Personal Protection team will be running a seminar on protection against burn injury, including demonstrations on The DuPont™ THERMO-MAN® facility at F&R 07 (alongside the Safety & Health Expo). For more information please contact Elaina.Harvey@gbr.dupont.com.
For more information on NOMEX®, please visit www.dpp-europe.com, email Carolyn@mconieagency.com, or call 01483 237230.
This information is based upon technical data that DuPont believes to be reliable. It is subject to revision as additional knowledge and experience becomes available. DuPont does not guarantee results and assumes no obligation or liability in connection with this information. It is the user’s responsibility to determine the level of toxicity and the proper personal protective equipment needed. This information is intended for use by per¬sons having the technical expertise to undertake evaluation under their own specific end-use conditions, at their own discretion and risk. Anyone intending to use this information should first check that the garment selected is suitable for the intended use. The end-user should discontinue use of garment if fabric becomes torn, worn or punctured, to avoid potential chemical exposure. Since conditions of use are beyond our control, we make no warranties, expressed or implied, including but not limited to warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose and assume no liability in connection with any use of this information. This information is not intended as a licence to operate under or a recommendation to infringe any patent or technical information of DuPont or other persons covering any material or its use.
DuPont Extends NOMEX® Garment Labeling Programme
NOMEX® labels and sew-in tags on heat and flame resistant apparel products have been symbols of quality and performance in markets around the world for over forty years. DuPont is making changes to its NOMEX® garment labelling program to increase the level of quality assurance offered to end users in Europe.
The new NOMEX® garment branding program provides two levels of assurance :
- The standard NOMEX® label (picture 1) used by leading garment manufacturers is now subject to stricter licensing criteria.
- This label certifies that products are made from genuine NOMEX® fibres and selected fabrics that meet DuPont performance standards - now higher than before.
Standard NOMEX® labels and tags are an immediate assurance for buyers that the performance of single and multiple fabric constructions surpasses all regional and country specific norms for heat and flame protection.
The NOMEX® quality promise is taken a step further with the introduction of a new premium brand label (picture 2), known as the NOMEX® NQP label, which certifies the performance in use of finished products as well as the materials that go into them.
All garments carrying this label have undergone an extensive testing program. DuPont’s state-of-the-art THERMO-MAN® and ARC-MAN® equipment is used to precisely monitor their performance in extreme heat environments. The efficient management of body perspiration - a key factor in controlling heat stress - is also measured.
The new variant of the familiar NOMEX® red and black label certifies them as "Performance Tested Garments". This label is exclusively licensed for use by a select group of European manufacturers participating in the NOMEX® Quality Partnership (NQP).
NOMEX® Quality Partners share DuPont’s commitment to high product quality standards. They have privileged access to DuPont’s fibre and fabric innovation, its technical knowledge and its test facilities. The garments that result are setting new standards in the marketplace. They are readily identified by the NQP Seal (picture 3) of Quality on the new NOMEX® premium labels.
The NOMEX® Quality Partner program and the extended garment labeling system reflect new quality challenges within the protective apparel industry.
Georges Reding, Marketing Segment Manager, comments : "The integrity of product design and manufacturing processes is increasingly critical if end users are to get the full benefit of advances in fibre science. The new premium labels are a signal to buyers that they can count on NQP partners to deliver the safest, most advanced products in the marketplace."
For more information on the NOMEX® Quality Partner programme and details of participating garment manufacturers and their products, visit www.dpp-europe.com.
DuPont Announces Major Expansion Plans to Increase Worldwide Capacity for NOMEX®
Issue number 5397
A move that follows Kevlar® expansions and underscores the company’s commitment to customers and leadership in high-performance fibres On August 29, 2006 DuPont announced a continuation of its investment strategy for high-performance fibers with a multi-product, multi-region expansion plan for its high-performance Nomex® brand fiber that will deliver a step change increase in worldwide capacity of DuPont™ Nomex®.
The company expects to invest more than $100 million in the three-part expansion that is scheduled to begin rolling out in phases later this year. Spurred by demand from market segments that include protective apparel, high-performance materials and electrical insulation, DuPont™ Nomex® has experienced significant growth over the past three years, said William J. Harvey, Vice President and General Manager of DuPont Advanced Fibre Systems. Strong customer value for the Nomex® brand and the quality it represents, in addition to trends toward increasing worker safety and smaller, more energy-efficient electronics, are driving market needs for Nomex® across a wide range of applications. This expansion program represents an important step in growing the Nomex® business and delivering the innovation and service that customers expect from DuPont.
The multi-faceted expansion comprises the following projects spanning Nomex® ingredients, fibre and paper. DuPont Chemical Solutions is planning to construct a significant new isophthaloyl chloride (ICL) facility in Asturias, Spain. ICL is one of the principal ingredients used to manufacture Nomex®. This new ICL facility will also liberate additional existing capacity to be used for the production of ingredients for Kevlar®.
The existing Nomex® site at Asturias plans to add new equipment to increase Nomex® fibre manufacturing capacity there by more than 30 percent.
DuPont Teijin Advanced Papers, a joint venture, will double Nomex® paper production capacity in Japan. DuPont™ Nomex® paper is used in electrical insulation and as a lightweight structural support throughout the body of most commercial aircraft. DuPont™ Nomex® is an inherently flame-resistant, high-temperature fiber that will not melt, drip or support combustion in air. It provides outstanding resistance to a broad range of chemicals, delivering protection against a variety of threats. For example, firefighters have relied on turnout gear,
stationwear and accessories made of DuPont™ Nomex® for more than three decades.
DuPont™ Nomex® fiber is the standard of protection for industrial workers against flash fire and electric arc hazards. It also is used in military gear such as flight suits and Combat Vehicle Crewmen coveralls. Nomex® paper, which is found in consumer appliances, industrial equipment and transportation equipment such as high-speed trains and commercial aircraft, has been providing high-performance electrical insulation for motors, transformers and generators for nearly 40 years. Today’s Nomex® announcement follows multiple significant investments by DuPont in Kevlar® over the last few years.
Like Nomex®, DuPont™ Kevlar® is another market-leading brand of high-performance fibre. Kevlar® is five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis, providing reliable performance and lightweight strength. Best known as a key component in ballistic vests, Kevlar® also is used in many other industrial and consumer applications, including the new Airbus A380, Goodyear® tires with SilentArmor technology™, and storm rooms for hurricane and tornado protection. As demonstrated by our Kevlar® expansions and today’s Nomex® announcement, we continue to aggressively invest in our high-performance fibers business, Harvey said. With our two-pronged strategy of investing in current products while actively pursuing next generation breakthroughs, we will ensure that DuPont remains a leader in the manufacturing and marketing of high-performance fibers for many years to come.
Nomex® and Kevlar® are part of the DuPont Safety & Protection platform, which is focused on helping to create safer lives everywhere. Some of the platform’s other offerings include DuPont™ Tyvek® used in medical fabrics, protective apparel, and homewrap, as well as DuPont™ Corian® and Zodiaq® surfaces, and DuPont™ RelyOn™ disinfectant and antiseptic products.
DuPont™ NOMEX® - proven protection and comfort in a range of FR garments.
Issue number 5375
DuPont offers a wide range of clothing solutions that help protect workers from occupational hazards, including : flash fire, electric arc, hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals, liquids, cut and abrasion, dry particulates and general dirt. At Utility Live, on Stand no. B21, the DuPont Personal Protection team will be displaying high performance, inherently flame resistant fabrics and garments incorporating DuPont™ NOMEX® brand fibre, made specifically for use by utility workers by carefully selected NOMEX® Quality Partners.
Stand No. B21. Utility Live, 26-28 September 2006, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry.
NOMEX® Takes The Heat Off Central Scotland’s Firefighters
Issue number 5291
Single-Layer PPE Garments made of DuPont™ NOMEX® Provide Improved Comfort & Heat Stress Management For Central Scotland Fire & Rescue Service
Heat stress is regarded one of the greatest dangers facing fire fighters today. Following 9/11, the Buildings Disaster Advisory Group (BDAG) undertook an in-depth study to measure the effect on the human body of fighting fires in a range of day-to-day scenarios and in extreme conditions such as high rise blocks. It found that a mix of heavy workload and heat from fires leads to dangerously high levels of heat exhaustion in physically fit firefighters, even in normal firefighting conditions. As well as providing contingency for adequate recovery time and rehydration, the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) provided to firefighters was also identified as playing a key role in minimizing the inevitable heat risks posed by operating in such an environment. This raises questions about the everyday practicality of traditional turnout gear, with many fire fighters just having the one suite of PPE clothing to cover all scenarios – from training exercises through to road traffic collisions (RTC’s).
For over 30 years, DuPont has been working with heat and flame protective apparel and the incorporation of its NOMEX® fibres into garments has delivered exciting and tangible benefits to fire and rescue services looking to offer its front line crews a safe, robust and inherently flame resistant PPE. Garments made of NOMEX® can form a primary barrier in the shape of coveralls, fire-jackets and trousers and also acts as a secondary protective barrier in shirts and underwear. As NOMEX® is actually a fibre, rather than just a top surface coating, it renders the garments resistant to the potentially detrimental effects of repeated laundering, routine wear and tear or even exposure to UV light which can severely impact upon the performance levels of traditional PPE over the course of the garment’s life.
Cool & Comfortable
NOMEX® has proved itself particularly suitable for incorporation into PPE for use during a ‘wildfire’ setting, which by definition includes the tackling of forest fires or blazes in any types of crops, grass or bushes. The lightweight nature of the fibres in a garment form provides comfort, ventilation and range of movement, without compromising levels of protection against falling debris and flying embers etc. In this way, NOMEX® has become a valuable ally in combating heat stress, allowing body heat to escape but yet still providing protection against external heat and flame. The garments made of NOMEX® can also be layered with other types of PPE to provide the most appropriate levels of protection, or in certain circumstances a ‘Wildland Suit’ alone may suffice. Unlike urban firefighting, tackling wildfires can sometimes involve covering large distances of unfamiliar terrain on foot to reach the source of the fire, making working in traditional full PPE extremely arduous.
Central Scotland Fire & Rescue Service covers an area of 1,015 square miles, servicing a population of 272,000. Administered from Maddiston, near Falkirk, the Service’s Headquarters are only a short journey from the giant petro-chemical complex at Grangemouth, which along with the nearby docks and timber yards means the area contains one of the largest fire risk areas in the country.
The Service’s Support Officer, Robert Hamilton, explained We knew we wanted a workable alternative to structural fire fighting gear, which, as everybody knows, is cumbersome, hot and heavy when tackling incidents such as RTCs or wildland fires, or even for routine training exercises. Four years ago, we put out to tender a contract for a new, EN531 compliant, lightweight suit that would improve the comfort, ventilation, ease of movement and therefore safety of fire officers working in hostile environments.
The contract was won by NOMEX® Quality Partner Pioner Fristads and a local protective garment distributor. Robert and his team worked with the companies to produce a single-layer lightweight suit made of NOMEX®. He said, My colleagues and I specified the garment design based on personal experience of the disadvantages of full PPE in certain situations, and the value chain had the technical garment and materials knowledge required to actually make and supply the suits.
Robert also outlined the cost benefits of deploying an alternative to expensive traditional PPE. By using the lightweight all-in-ones for most everyday scenarios, we have massively reduced the wear and tear on the structural fire fighting gear. Prior to having the suits made, we undertook an audit of all the crews’ measurements, to make sure that each suit is a good fit – rather than taking a ‘one size for all approach’ which really doesn’t work for garments which people are wearing day in day out. Being so cost-effective, we can almost adopt a 2 for 1 approach with the new suits, even though they are extremely hard-wearing. Everybody has a spare suit and we can replace them as necessary. To date, we have purchased over 1,250 of the suits and it’s acted as a catalyst for other Fire and Rescue Services to also adopt this type of PPE as we are always keen to share our best practice ideas and findings with other Services.
Summarising the crews’ attitudes to lightweight suits made of NOMEX®, Robert says It’s hard to get the fire fighters out of them ! It’s been a winning combination – a wearable, versatile and practical piece of PPE, which still gives good protection levels for many of our call outs. We’re currently working with other Fire and Rescue Services within Scotland on a similar concept for a Technical Rescue Suit to be rolled out potentially across the whole of Scotland
NOMEX® is a particularly appropriate fibre to incorporate within protective clothing intended for use in potential flash fire scenarios, as an anti-static element can significantly reduce the danger from the spark ignition hazard from the fire fighter. This is significant in circumstances such as RTCs, where flammable fuel vapours may be present, and also in a tinder-dry forest during a hot dry spell.
The makers of NOMEX®, DuPont, work in close partnership with garment manufacturers and end users such as firefighters, motor racing teams, and also the armed services, to develop PPE clothing which gives unbeatable protection, without reducing comfort or the wearer’s ability to carry out their job effectively. By sourcing from manufacturers licensed under the DuPont™ NOMEX® Quality Programme, the integrity and performance of the garments is carefully controlled. DuPont has carried out extensive trials regarding the effects of heat stress resulting from exertion, as well as the longevity of the protective properties of NOMEX®.
In a climate where the demands placed upon firefighters is broadening to encompass reacting to terrorist attacks, managing chemical spills and environmental hazards, as well as traditional compartment ‘fire fighting’, it is important that PPE is versatile enough to keep crews cool under pressure, without compromising protection against flames and moisture. As fire fighting becomes more technically and physically demanding, so must PPE adapt by harnessing new fibre technologies such as NOMEX® to improve comfort and safety, whilst delivering long-term value for money.
DuPont launches new www.dpp-europe.com website
Issue number 5102
DuPont Personal Protection offers an extensive range of trusted, personal protection solutions for emergency response and work in hazardous industrial applications (chemical, petrochemical, electrical and gas utilities and others. In a bid to make information on solution offering more easily accessible, in June 2006 a brand new website that integrates all four DuPont Personal Protection product ranges is to be launched.
With sustained communication at the forefront of its design, the structure of the website enables the user to browse through entire sections on applications, products, protective solutions, technical information and the company’s unique service offering.
Links to information on the most well-known protective clothing brands from DuPontTM : TYVEK® and TYCHEM® (limited-use coverall range offering protection against chemicals and biological hazards) ; NOMEX® (protection against heat and flame), KEVLAR® (protection against mechanical cut risk) are easily visible on the home page. In addition, a drop down menu enables easy navigation through new brands under the Product umbrella : PROSHIELD® (basic, limited-use coverall range for less protection demanding applications) and SONTARA® MicroPure (cleanroom wipe range).
The website includes up-to-date information on industry and application risks, EN Standards, protective clothing solutions, news and events. A plethora of technical data and literature is available to browse through or download, and all products, components and accessories are defined clearly and concisely.
The new www.dpp-europe.com website allows easy access to the company’s unique services. To help you choose the appropriate product, literature such as flyers, brochures and instructions for use can be downloaded from the Download Centre ; a garment selection questionnaire can be found within the Chemical Protection Consultancy, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions can all be accessed on the website. Case studies and press releases can be found in the Press Record and a section on Events and Seminars lists dates and venues of all DuPont Personal Protection exhibitions, and seminars throughout Europe.
The new, improved design makes the website much easier to navigate as all information is centered in one integral presentation, enabling improved browsing and quicker access to all areas of the site.
NOMEX® - proven protection for petrochemical workers
Issue number 4833
In industry there is perhaps no tougher working environment than that of an offshore drilling rig, where workers face not only adverse weather conditions but the everyday risk of exposure to flash fire. The risk of flash fire is present wherever people work with petrochemicals, gases and oils. Although it can be over in a matter of seconds, a flash fire can cause debilitating 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns. The correct protective clothing for the job can help protect against burn injury. From offshore and onshore production and exploration sites to the field and track side at Formula One Racing events, many people exposed to the risk of heat and flame depend on the protection of DuPontô NOMEXÆ to help minimize the potential for burn injuries.
Garments made of DuPont™ NOMEX® brand fibre play a key role in providing the valuable seconds people need to escape and survive the flash fires that can result from ignited fuel in any environment. The protection that NOMEX® provides is inherent and permanent, "built into" the molecular structure of the fibre itself. It does not come from chemical treatment or add-ons and whether it is found in protective suits, underwear or socks, the exceptional flame resistance provided by NOMEX® cannot be washed out or worn away.
Materials that are not inherently flame resistant can increase the risk and severity of burn injuries when engulfed in flames, as they can melt onto the skin. NOMEX® brand fibre does not melt or drip when exposed to a flash fire. It will self extinguish when removed from the heat source, and starts carbonizing at 380°C only. So in the event of a flash fire, the skin protected by a garment made of NOMEX® is likely to escape the 2nd or 3rd degree burns probable if conventional fabrics are worn.
NOMEXÆ thermal technology manages the extremes of heat yet still delivers incredible lightness. Not only is NOMEX® brand fibre flame resistant, it is breathable, durable and comfortable to wear. All garments carrying the DuPontô NOMEXÆ brand label comply with stringent quality, performance and compatibility standards and are available only from manufacturers licensed under the DuPont NOMEX® Quality Programme.
Used widely in Europe, fabrics made with NOMEX® Comfort fine fibres are very soft and comfortable and have a high rate of moisture wicking - ideal for wearing next to the skin in the form of jackets, trousers, coveralls, underwear, socks and accessories. The NOMEX® fibre family consists of : NOMEX® III, NOMEX® Anti-static, NOMEX® Comfort, NOMEX® Tough, NOMEX® Tough Plus and NOMEX® MetalPro. For more information, please visit www.dpp-europe.com or email Carolyn@mconieagency.com.
Do cost savings on new fire kits compromise the safety of our firefighters ?
Issue number 5180
When sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE) for fire fighters, there are three factors to balance : economics, protection and comfort. In some countries, due to the decline of government subsidies, tried and trusted turn out gear has begun to be replaced by cheaper alternatives. DuPont has invested considerable resources into researching the performance and comfort of turnout gear worn by today’s fire fighters, and the results are somewhat astounding. So with plans afoot for the UK fire service to embark on an Integrated Clothing Program, should UK firefighters be worried that their protection will be compromised in a cost-saving exercise ?
Most European countries have witnessed a decline in emergency calls to actually fight fires. However, a spate of recent disasters - both natural and terrorist-related - have posed new risks for emergency responders and consequently, the safety of firefighters and in particular, the performance of their PPE is a hot topic. The changing roles of fire fighters and evolution of the fire service demand of fire fighters’ PPE more comfortable, ergonomic solutions in addition to sustained levels of heat & flame protection.
In conjunction with independent bodies in the US, Switzerland and Germany, DuPont has commissioned a series of trials on the comfort, protection and overall performance of various fire kits available today, with the ultimate goal of finding appropriate methods to benefit end users. The results have shown that many modern fire-fighting kits are providing neither adequate protection nor heat stress management and freedom of movement.
Performance in heat and flame
Andreas Fries, from the DuPont Personal Protection team in Geneva, explains, Ten years ago, turn out gear, when tested on the DuPont™ Thermo-Man® flash fire PPE evaluation system, produced data to indicate that the wearer, if exposed to an eight second duration flash fire when wearing those garments, would suffer possibly up to 25% of total body burns. With advances in technology over the last ten years, one would expect that the safety of fire fighting garments had increased, not decreased. For instance, fire services in most states of Germany are entitled to Government subsidies for the purchase of turnout gear that meets the design and manufacturing requirements of
Herstellungs- und Prüfvorschrift (HuPf). But when recent HuPf certified garments were put through the Thermo-Man® tests, the resulting data indicated that the wearer would suffer 42% total body burns. When modern high performance turn out gear made of NOMEX® was subjected to the same tests, data indicated that the wearer would suffer 0-2% of body burns.
Feedback from German Fire Fighters after controlled wear trials of various different kits confirms that some of the cheaper turnout coat systems are causing sweating and discomfort after only short time. Heat stress is a well-documented threat to the safety of fire fighters. Injury data from the US indicates that about 50% of all injuries are related to fire scenes, with physical stress and over exertion being the main reasons for injuries and fatalities. DuPont aims to bring down heat stress through research into and continual development of flame resistant fibres, fabrics and clothing systems. NOMEX® thermal technology manages the extremes of heat yet still delivers incredible lightness. It wicks moisture away from the skin, is breathable, durable and comfortable to wear.
Innovative testing facilities
In conjunction with the EMPA Swiss Research Institute for Material Sciences and Technology, DuPont has taken a holistic approach, integrating all the factors contributing to the occurrence of heat stress such as sweating, heat flow and the design of protective clothing. SAM, the mobile Sweating Articulated Mannequin, is a test dummy with sensors to measure moisture and temperature. Several factors such as the level of sweating, room temperature, relative humidity, running speed and wind speed can be set as required. The aim of this computer-assisted evaluation program is to discover the microclimates (temperature and humidity) below a garment system. Another joint research program with EMPA (Project No. 204114) evaluates how moisture is transported through all layers of clothing and how radiated heat affects the moist layers.
With thermo-graphic analysis, DuPont investigates protective clothing concepts under real conditions of use. It involves subjecting a test person (e.g. a fireman) to active physical stress and recording the heat distribution and transport of perspiration on body and clothing by means of a thermo graphic camera. In this way invaluable findings can be made regarding the clothing design, weak points can be localized and the effectiveness of complete protective equipment can be assessed. Thermo-graphic analysis is particularly suitable for investigating multi-layered systems, aiming to minimize heat and perspiration and, finally, the risk of steam burns.
Wear life and aging criteria
Solar radiation has a known adverse effect on colorfastness and the mechanical resistance of fabrics used in fire fighters’ PPE, but new research has shown that it may also have significant influence on protection level and overall wear-life. Natural weathering at the Fraunhofer Institute, ISE, Freiburg in Germany, in August/September 2005 showed a reduction of initial tear strength by more than 85% on some new turn out coats after 14 days exposure, and a reduction of absolute tear strength below the EN469 standard (25 N). After one Polyamid-Imid garment was exposed to natural weathering and washed and dried five times, break-open went through to the inner liner of the
Major discrepancy in tear-strength retention results obtained after only 8 hours of color-fastness tests (according to EN/ISO 105 B02) between tried and trusted fabrics versus new offerings have triggered specification changes for some police tenders to ensure appropriate wearlife - a move that may also need to be followed for fire fighters’ PPE. Lifetime assessments of turnout coats made with NOMEX® outer-shells have demonstrated the sustained protection level of NOMEX® – even on garments over 10 years old that have been through several laundering cycles.
Andreas concluded, This new research provides repeatable and reproducible, factual data on the performance of a variety of fire kits and fabrics in use across Europe today. In direct comparison with lesser quality turn out gear, garments made of NOMEX® can work out much more cost effective in the long run due to their increased performance and wear-life. Buyers of turn out gear should be aware that although there are many cheaper alternatives to garments made of NOMEX®, they may not offer the same high level of protection, comfort or wear-life, and this could compromise the safety of their fire fighters.
For more information, please visit www.dpp-europe.com, email Carolyn@mconieagency.com, or call