What are Protective Textiles? | 15 Types of Protective Textiles

Protective Textiles Definition:
Protective clothing or protective textiles are one of the parts of technical textiles which are used principally for their performance or functional properties rather than their decorative or aesthetic properties. Protection from extreme environmental situation has always been a crucial requirement of textile products.

Protective clothing types
Fig: Protective clothing types
Importance of Protective Clothing in the Workplace:
To protect human beings or atmosphere from various natural or industrial hazards, protective clothing or protective textiles are vastly used. There are some possible environmental hazards namely heat, cold, wind, ultraviolet radiations, snow, radioactive radiations, rain, abrasion, dust, micro-organisms, static electricity etc. Some prominent industrial or human hazards are fire, industrial chemicals, biohazards, flash, high-velocity projectiles, cutting or slashing by sharp objects etc. when we are in the vicinity of one or more of those, we need optimum safety from all those hazards. Thus the need for protective textiles is there to safeguard us.

Properties of Protective Clothing or Protective Textiles:
There are some key characteristics of protective clothing which are listed in the following:

  1. Lightweight and low bulk,
  2. High durability and dimensional stability,
  3. Good handle and drape property,
  4. Low noise emission,
  5. Water repellant,
  6. Windproof and snow shedding,
  7. Thermal insulating,
  8. Ultra violate (UV) resistant,
  9. Air permeability,
  10. Flame retardant,
  11. Heat and melt resistance or low smoke emission,
  12. Safety from radar spectrum.
What Types of Fiber Used in Protective Clothing?
The fibers which are used in protective clothing have presented in the below table with their uses:

SL No.
Meta-aramid fiber
Industrial protective clothing, Racing driver’s suit, Filter bags for hot gas, Cargo covers, Boat covers, Fire hose reinforcement.
Pera aramid fiber
Tyre cords, Radiator hose and brake shoes of racing cars, Body armor, Reinforced composites for aircraft, High-speed boat components.
Carbon fiber
Aircraft and a Space shuttle, Automotive, Medical Implants, and Marine.
Glass fiber
Consumer goods, Roofing Tiles, Corrosion resistant products used in highway overlay, Aircraft, and aerospace.
Polypropylene fiber
Marine ropes and cables, Sailcloth, Protective clothing, Boat hulls.
Spandex fiber
Foundation garments, Support hose, Sports and leisure garments.
Hot gas filtration, Thermal protective clothing, Racing driver’s suit.
Filtration media for the oil industry, Medical Textile, Industrial fabric.
Inorganic fiber
Aircraft, Automobile, Sport, Electrical Application and Military Application.
Fluorine-containing fiber
Filtration media for corrosive material, Refrigeration, Packing Material.

Classification of Protective Textiles or Protective Clothing:
There are mainly 15 types of protective clothing used; those are listed in the following:

  1. High-temperature protective textiles,
  2. Chemical protective textiles,
  3. Mechanical protective textiles,
  4. Flame-resistant protective textiles,
  5. Ultra Violet protection finish,
  6. Metalized fabrics,
  7. High visibility textiles,
  8. Radiation protective textiles,
  9. Protective health care garments,
  10. Clean room technology,
  11. Biological protective textiles,
  12. Ballistic protective textiles,
  13. Space suits,
  14. Breathable fabrics,
  15. Electrical protective textiles.
Fibers Used for High-Temperature Protective Textiles:
The following fibers are used in high-temperature protective clothing or protective textiles:

  1. Aramid (Meta & Para),
  2. Glass,
  3. PAN or carbon,
  4. Phenolic,
  5. PTFE,
  6. PBI,
  7. Polyamide,
  8. Melamine,
  9. Polyacrylate.

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