Flame-resistant (FR) innovation spans centuries, with the concept of flame-resistant materials dating back to ancient Greece. Our modern understanding of FR has advanced substantially over the past 25 years. Today we’re discussing a fiber brand that has been a part of almost every major FR innovation over the past decade. And while it may not be a household name, it’s well-known in the FR industry. Today we answer: what is Protex?
Protex is the brand name of a modacrylic fiber produced by Kaneka Corporation. Modacrylic is the generic name for this type of inherently flame-resistant fiber. Whether generic or Kaneka’s Protex brand, these fibers are used in many of the AR/FR fabric blends we see in the market today.
Why is Protex so popular? Simply stated, Protex is comfortable, soft, durable, easily dyed, and dimensionally stable – unusual in an inherently FR fiber. In addition, Protex is very breathable and has excellent moisture-wicking properties. With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why Protex has been a prominent component of FR fabric advancement for the past 10-15 years.
Let’s join Tyndale’s Vice President of Technical, Scott Margolin, and special guest, Chris Fuller, Director of Business Development at Front Line Fabrics (FLF). Chris joins us today to help expand on why Protex is such a useful and popular fabric type for AR/FR garments.
For almost the past decade FLF has partnered with Kaneka to utilize the Protex fabric. Kaneka devotes substantial resources into research and development to further innovate Protex. This research was critical during the pandemic, as Tyndale wanted a fitness for use letter for AR/FR face coverings. Kaneka was the only manufacturer that could provide this information because they had done the research – prior to the pandemic – to confirm that the Protex fiber was safe for a breathable mask. This protected workers through the manufacture of over 1,000,000 AR/FR masks for emergency use.
We hope you found today educational, giving you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Protex fiber use and its benefits. Protex is important to the AR/FR industry. Rest assured that a reputable and responsible manufacturer is doing the research to continually provide a safe, versatile, comfortable, and reliable product.