During conflict, Royal Navy personnel wear a two‐ply flame‐retardant (FR) “action coverall” (AC) and “anti‐flash” (AF) hood and gloves, made from Proban (Albright & Wilson's registered trademark) treated cotton. It is a widely held belief that extended wear, and repeated washing damages the Proban® FR finish making the garments more susceptible to ignition if exposed to flame. To examine this, new and used AC and AF were exposed up to 10 s on a flame manikin. The examples of used AC and AF had been worn for approximately 56 days and washed 20 times over a 12 week period at sea. For flame challenges up to 10 s, much greater than expected in a fuel explosion, the protection afforded by the used clothing was as good as for the new clothing, with some evidence that protection had improved. It is concluded that the Proban® FR treatment was not damaged by wear or washing.
House, J.R. and Squire, J.D. (2004), "Effectiveness of Proban® flame retardant in used clothing", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 361-367. https://doi.org/10.1108/09556220410699552
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Government agency