UniFirst Armorex FR® garments made with Tecasafe® Plus by TenCate feature one of the most innovative arc-rated FR fabrics in the market. This soft, inherently flame resistant fabric is a tri-blend of FR fibers that offers superior flame protection, moisture wicking, and durability. Our Armorex FR® safety line is fast becoming the new standard for flame resistant apparel that keeps workers safe, and feels like everyday work clothing.
Until now, industrial workers have had to accept something of a tradeoff in protective garments for electric arc and flash fire accidents. The tradeoff is between the perceived comfort of chemically treated FR cotton and the inherent protection of Nomex® fabrics. Now you can have the best in protection, comfort, and durability with Tecasafe Plus by TenCate.
This new patent pending engineered material offers superior electric arc and flash fire protection in a revolutionary fabric that is inherently flame resistant, comfortable, and durable.
Tecasafe Plus offers the following protective performance in a single fabric. Unlike FR treated cotton, Tecasafe Plus is inherently flame resistant so the flame protection will never wash or wear out, and Tecasafe Plus stands up to the heat. It is stronger than FR cotton and Nomex® IIIA after thermal exposure. A lightweight layer of Tecasafe Plus by itself meets hazard risk category 2 of the 70E Standard for Electric Arc. In addition, Tecasafe Plus meets the flash fire protection standard NFPA 2112, and only Tecasafe Plus provides all of this protection and unmatched comfort.
It's softer to the touch than Nomex® fabrics and Tecasafe Plus wicks 3 times better than FR cotton. So, Tecasafe Plus absorbs and spreads moister better, dries faster, is softer to the touch, and keeps you comfortable longer than any other FR fabric. Furthermore, Tecasafe Plus is exceptionally durable.
It has outstanding resistance to abrasion from wear and from industrial laundering, even at the seams. Tecasafe Plus offers excellent resistance to pilling, good color fastness, and an excellent after-wash appearance following repeated industrial launderings for a long lasting professional look.
You may think Tecasafe Plus is an expensive fabric. You'll be surprised. Tecasafe Plus offers more protection and comfort than other protective fabrics without breaking the bank. Tecasafe Plus is an affordable investment that will be in service for a long time, making Tecasafe Plus a cost-effective solution for many protective challenges. When you consider the overall combination of superior protection, long service life, and unsurpassed comfort offered by Tecasafe Plus, this fabric may prove to be the most cost-effective product ever offered to the industrial safety market.
Workers exposed to electric arc or flash fire accidents risk serious burn injury unless properly protected. Standards committees such as the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA, have developed strict guidelines to ensure that workers are properly protected from these potentially fatal workplace accidents. Let's see how Tecasafe Plus stacks up against competitive fabrics—FR cotton, Nomex®, and Protera—in the industry's most demanding performance test. We'll begin with thermal performance.
To help determine the level of protective clothing needed, NFPA 70E specifies hazard risk categories based on the arc rating of fabrics. The arc rating is calculated based on several arc tests. Here are the levels as specified in 70E. The level commonly needed for electrical workers is Hazard Risk Category 2. Tecasafe Plus as a single layer easily satisfies this requirement at 8.4. This means that a light layer of Tecasafe Plus, by itself, meets the NFPA 70E requirements for most electrical applications.
The ASTMF 1930 Instrumented Mannequin Test is a cornerstone of the NFPA 2112 Flash Fire Protection Standard. In this test, a mannequin equipped with 100 or more heat sensors is dressed in an FR coverall and exposed to a simulated flash fire for a period of 3 seconds. Sensor data is used to calculate a predicted body burn percentage. The average of 3 exposures must be no more than 50 percent to comply with NFPA 2112. The instrumented mannequin test results after 3 second exposure are clear. Nomex® IIIA: 32%, Indura UltraSoft: 35%, Protera: 37%, and Tecasafe Plus: only 15%. While the competitive fabrics show a predicted body burn of over 30%, Tecasafe Plus tests at less than half with only 15%.
In the TPP test, FR fabric specimens are exposed to controlled levels of energy to determine the TPP value. The TPP value is defined as the amount of energy on the outside of the fabric that will cause the onset of a second degree skin burn. After thermal exposure, Nomex® IIIA becomes brittle. The same holds true for Protera. It's cracking under pressure. With Indura UltraSoft, the fabric becomes so brittle that it literally falls apart. But with Tecasafe Plus, the fabric remains intact.
In the test for tensile strength, fabric specimens of equal size are tested to determine the maximum level of force the fabric can withstand before a break occurs. The more force the fabric can withstand, the stronger the fabric. Some competitive FR protective fabrics were similar in strength to Tecasafe Plus before TPP exposure. However, after thermal exposure, the same fabrics proved significantly weaker than Tecasafe Plus. In the test for tensile strength, after 10 seconds of TPP exposure, when you compare Indura UltraSoft, Nomex® IIIA, Protera, and Tecasafe Plus, there is really no comparison. Tecasafe Plus stands up to the heat. With Tecasafe Plus, there's less chance of the fabric falling apart after thermal exposure due to electric arc flash or flash fire. Tecasafe Plus provides you strength when you need it most.
In the test for TPP flame shrinkage, FR fabric specimens are exposed to controlled levels of energy for a fixed period of 5 seconds. The results from this test are used to indicate how much shrinkage the fabric will experience when exposed to a flash fire. The smaller the percentage of shrinkage, the more stable the fabric. As you can see, Tecasafe Plus also exhibits superior thermal stability when compared to Indura UltraSoft, Protera, or Nomex® IIIA. Thermal shrinkage won't be a problem with garments made of Tecasafe Plus. This means more thermal protection when you need it the most.
In the test for pilling resistance, small fabric specimens are placed in a cork lined chamber with small pieces of cotton sliver. Fabric specimens are repeatedly tumbled in the chamber for fixed intervals of 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes. The results of this test are used to indicate a fabric's resistance to the formation of unsightly pills or balls of tangled fibers from everyday wear and tear. The higher the level of pilling, the worse the fabric will look. Tecasafe Plus offers excellent resistance to pilling, thus maintaining its like-new appearance for a longer period of time.
In the test for resistance against abrasion, fabric specimens are placed on a double headed rotary platform and rubbed under controlled pressure and abrasion for a period of 100, 150, or 250 cycles. The results of this test are used to indicate how well a fabric will resist wear and tear over the life of the garment. The better the fabric looks after the test, the better the resistance to wear and tear. The results show how Tecasafe Plus and other FR fabrics resist abrasion. After 250 cycles, Indura UltraSoft has holes chewed in it. Even at 150 cycles, Indura UltraSoft still does not perform as well as Tecasafe Plus at 250 cycles.
Another way to evaluate how well a fabric will wear is to examine a garment seam or edge after multiple industrial washes. Good examples are the seams along the shirt sleeve's cuff, the bottom edge of the pants, or the seam near the buttons on the front of the shirt. The Indura UltraSoft on the right is fraying after 50 industrial washes. The Tecasafe Plus, washed the same number of times, is more resistant and looks much better.
How well a fabric absorbs and wicks away moisture demonstrates how comfortable a garment will be when it's wet or the wearer perspires. Nomex® IIIA, Indura UltraSoft, and Tecasafe Plus absorb the drop of water quickly. Protera, on the other hand, beads up. Tecasafe Plus wicks and spreads the water quickest and dries fast, making you feel more comfortable.
Tecasafe Plus delivers the best overall electric arc and flash fire protection. Compared to other industrial FR fabrics, Tecasafe Plus provides NFPA 2112 flash fire protection. It's affordable with a long lasting service life that makes it very cost-effective. It's soft and breathable and wicks away moisture three times better than FR cotton making it more comfortable yet it withstands industrial laundering. Tecasafe Plus is also exceptionally durable, inherently flame resistant, and electric arc category two compliant. There's no hit or miss. The best overall protection is Tecasafe Plus.
Tecasafe Plus by TenCate bring you a new standard for flame resistant apparel fabrics to protect utility workers, electricians, oil refinery workers, petrochemical workers, and many other professionals working in high risk environments. Now protection, comfort, and durability are all woven into the one fabric that brings you the best overall value. Tecasafe Plus delivers peace of mind when lives are on the line.