What is Nomex Clothing?

What is Nomex Clothing?

This is the fourth post in a five-part “FR Clothing Materials” series. Don’t miss our previous posts, which offer insight into commonly-asked questions: What is FR fabric, What is the difference between fire retardant and flame resistant, and Is cotton FR. And, check back soon to read the last post in the series, “What is aramid yarn?”

Developed by DuPont more than 50 years ago, Nomex® is a brand name for one of the first flame resistant (FR) fibers developed and used to protect workers. Learn more from Scott Margolin, Vice President of Technical, who has decades of experience in FR fabrics:

As Scott explains, Nomex is an inherently FR fiber that does not burn or melt and drip, and its protective properties are permanent; they cannot be laundered out or worn away.

When exposed to extreme heat during an arc flash or flash fire, Nomex swells and forms a char—giving the wearer critical protection and valuable extra seconds to escape.  The protective char remains supple until it cools. Nomex:

  • Is known for its long service life and decades of use worldwide.
  • Is made from meta-aramid yarn. To learn more about aramid yarns, check back for the last post in our series.
  • Has a wide range of uses and applications, including oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceuticals, and electric utilities. Nomex fibers are also used in protective clothing worn in the firefighting, car racing, military, police, and aerospace industries.

There are several Nomex fabrics used for arc flash and flash fire protection:

  • Nomex IIIA is used for flash fire protection in the oil and gas industries, and is composed of 93% Nomex fiber, 5% Kevlar®, and 2% antistatic fiber.
  • Nomex MHP is used for arc flash and multi-hazard applications and is a blend of 34% aramid, 33% lyocell (a cellulosic like cotton), 31% modacrylic, and 2% anti-static materials. At 7oz in weight, it delivers 8.4 cal / CAT 2 arc flash protection—as well as low body burn percentage in flash fire applications.
  • Westex® CXP made by Westex by Milliken is a newer entrant to the market, notable for its softness. This fabric is made with 100% Nomex III A with a patented Softouch Technology® process.

Since Nomex was developed over 50 years ago, many other FR fabrics have become available in the market for arc flash and flash fire protection– each with different features and benefits. Click here to explore other FR fabrics and click here to explore FR garments available from Tyndale.

Need help navigating the industry and identifying the right garments for your workers? Use the box on the right to request your complimentary technical consultation with Scott Margolin.

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