There are flame retardant materials that provide flash protection, but not thermal insulation (e.g., FR cotton). Thermal insulation is a measure, in part, of thickness. Chemical resistance is another measure. As far as I know, there is no single material that will provide thermal resistance (thermal protection), chemical protection/resistance and flame resistance. ASTM F23 is the committee that develops test methods to measure these properties as well as some guides to selection, care and maintenance. Companies that produce the products, such as DuPont for Nomex, will also provide technical assistance.
Bottom line is the scenario that you think is the one you need protection against. From there, you can develop the best combination of materials. You can contact ASTM F23 or one of the manufacturers of protective clothing for more information.
S.Z. Mansdorf, Ph.D., CIH, CSP, QEP
7184 Via Palomar
Boca Raton, FL 33433
I am not aware of an acceptable standard test for determining the absorption properties of flame retardant lab coats. Is anyone aware of one? If the lab coat is both chemically and fire resistant, then shouldn’t it have passed each individual respective chemical absorption test to not absorb the flammable liquid to contribute fuel to a fire? The fire would be limited to the flammable liquid available on the surface of the lab coat. Typically, I check the manufacturers testing data for chemical resistance or compatibility to resist absorption(permeation)/penetration to the contaminants of concern. I’m not aware of any professionally recognized testing standard that simultaneously tests absorptive properties of flammable liquids with the flammable characteristics of the lab coats, wouldn’t that be the true real-world test of a flammable resistant lab coat? However, I would expect the costs of the testing would be exorbitant!
My opinions and thought logic only, in an effort to continuously learn and improve.
Wish I did, please let me know if you get positive info on this.
On 4/13/12 2:29 PM, Russell Vernon wrote:
One of the challenges we’ve encountered is the liquid absorptive properties of flame retardant lab coats.
Does anyone know of a commercially available flame retardant lab coats that resists absorbing water and other solvents?
Thanks in advance,
EHS Chemical/Lab Safety Manager
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