The Technology behind Bulwark iQ Series®


This is the second and final post in a two-part series, focusing on the Bulwark iQ Series®. Our previous post features a few of the Bulwark iQ Series® garments. In this post, we explain the revolutionary Westex by Milliken G2 technology behind Bulwark iQ Series® and how it is redefining comfort for workers required to wear FR (flame resistant) clothing.


Comfort and protection have not always gone hand-in-hand in the FR clothing industry. In the past, garments offered necessary protection at the expense of wearer comfort – clothing was hot, uncomfortable, and restrictive. In the past five years, there have been major improvements; today there are many lighter, more comfortable options on the market. One of the most exciting recent innovations has come from the laboratories of Westex – a next-generation FR technology that allows equal protection at lighter weights. Bulwark used this revolutionary new Westex fabric to create the Bulwark iQ Series®, a product line that re-invents the way workers feel and move in their FR clothing. The introduction of the Bulwark iQ Series® not only gives FR clothing wearers a cutting-edge new option, but it has planted the seed for future innovation.

Innovation requires extensive research and testing. Milliken has over 100 PhDs across many scientific disciplines, giving them creative and engineering expertise which is unprecedented in the FR world. They unlocked the potential of a new FR polymer and the Bulwark iQ Series® fabric was born. This revolutionary fabric is lightweight, flexible, moisture wicking, and breathable, providing unparalleled comfort and most importantly, top-notch protection from flash fire and electrical arc flash hazards.


The Chemistry

For years, scientists have worked with phosphorus- and nitrogen-based polymers to engineer flame resistance for cotton-based fabrics. When phosphorus systems are exposed to a flame, they char instead of burning; the char also serves as an insulation barrier for the wearer. The key to the Westex next-generation technology is nitrogen-containing compounds which form microscopic bubbles in the char. Air is highly insulative, so more bubbles mean more protection.

This new way of polymerizing phosphorus and nitrogen together created a brand new FR polymer called Dual Elemental Protection, which allows the iQ Series fabric to be lighter weight and more comfortable without compromising on protection, and the flame resistant properties are there for the life of the garment.


The Fabric

iQ garments are made exclusively with Westex G2™ fabrics by Milliken®. These fabrics are not only breathable, lightweight, soft, and durable – they allow the worker to move better and provide excellent moisture management due to a wickable liner similar to sports garments, keeping the worker cool and comfortable all day long!

The inside of the garment (the side touching the wearer’s skin) is made of a new FR polyester, another innovation from Westex. Extensive testing was done to ensure the fabric is non-melting in all relevant arc flash and flash fire tests. This breakthrough technology means the iQ liner brings to the FR world wicking and quick drying properties previously only available in non-FR athletic garments.


The Garments

t045b-dbl-lrgEnd-user comfort coupled with modern design, backed by research, technology, and testing are the building blocks of the Bulwark iQ Series®. We look forward to the future of FR as these garments set the new standard for wearer satisfaction.

Bulwark has applied what they call “iQ thinking” into everything that they do – continuously seeking new ways to innovate and revolutionize the industry. Tyndale is proud to be a distributor of Bulwark garments, and is happy to offer the Bulwark iQ Series® to end-users who are looking for comfort, durability, and protection as part of their daily wear.


Don’t forget to check out our previous post which features some of Bulwark iQ Series® products that we offer! These items are also available on our retail website. Be sure to contact your National Account Executive or call 800-356-3433 today to learn more about these and other products Tyndale has to offer!

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