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Effectiveness of Proban® flame retardant in used clothing

James R. House (Institute of Naval Medicine (Royal Navy), Hampshire, UK)
James D. Squire (Ministry of Defence, London, UK)

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



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.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Government agency

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