DuPont introduces innovative Nomex® On Demand™ smart-fiber technology to better protect firefighters
DuPont, a market driven science-based products and services company, , recently unveiled its DuPont™ Nomex® On Demand™, a new patented smart-fiber technology that gives firefighters up to 20 percent more thermal performance when they encounter emergency conditions. DuPont’s latest offering in advanced fibers is expected to be an important addition to fire-fighting equipment.
The term “smart-fiber technology” refers to the ability of the new material — initially for use in thermal liners in firefighter turnout gear — to detect emergency conditions and automatically expand to trap more air for greater thermal insulation. In emergency conditions, air temperatures can exceed hundreds of degrees. Nomex® On Demand™ is specifically engineered to react and expand when temperatures reach 250 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. In routine conditions, thermal liners made with Nomex® On Demand™ remain thin and flexible, providing excellent thermal protection and good mobility. Once activated, Nomex® On Demand™ continues to provide maximum thermal protection, when and where it is needed.
Thomas G. Powell, Vice President and General Manager, DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems, said: “DuPont™ Nomex® On Demand™ is the first smart-fiber technology that helps protect lives. It is a great example of our commitment to market-driven science – matching our many years of experience in high-performance fibers with an understanding of the evolving needs of the fire services industry. We are committed to protecting firefighters and other emergency responders with innovative products that will help enable them to perform their jobs as safely as possible.”
The new technology is commercially available in the US and Canada and will be available globally in late 2009. While initially available in firefighter gear, DuPont is reviewing additional applications for Nomex® On Demand™ including auto racing, where 95 percent of today’s drivers wear suits made of DuPont™ Nomex®; wildfire control; oil and gas operations; and military uses. DuPont estimates the demand for fire protection gear in the US alone totals almost USD 300 million.
“A commitment to safety is a defining part of the DuPont culture. Through our history and culture, we are dedicated to protecting more people, from more hazards, in more places around the world. DuPont has developed an extensive line of products and services targeting the needs of first responders and first receivers. Nomex® applications as well extend into industrial applications, where it is the brand of choice for several prominent companies within the Middle East. This safety breakthrough is highly-awaited in the Middle East, where firefighting conditions can easily reach critical conditions and high-rise building fires have become a recurring problem. The Middle East’s Civil Defense forces are currently eyeing regulatory powers and advanced firefighting tools that will enable them to more effectively prevent, control, and deal with fire outbreaks. When available in the Middle East, Nomex® On Demand™ will definitely give boost to the region’s fire response capabilities,” said Amr El Moniem, DuPont Personal Protection Area Manager, Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan.
Nomex® On Demand™ has been tested by DuPont, its customers and independent third parties. In addition, it meets National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and has been certified for use by Underwriters Laboratories.
DuPont™ Nomex® was the first flame-resistant fiber used in firefighter gear. Prior to its introduction in 1967, firefighters had limited protection. Both Nomex® and DuPont™ Kevlar® brand fibers are used in the fire services industry, with proven inherent flame protection, durability and comfort. About 70 percent of the thermal protection in a firefighter’s turnout coat comes from materials using Nomex® and Kevlar®.
DuPont is committed to helping protect firefighters and other first responders with science-based innovations such as flame-resistant fibers, chemical protective suits, and other personal protective technologies. The company provides leading apparel brands for protection from thermal, ballistic, chemical, biological and cut/abrasion threats. Brands such as DuPont™ Nomex®, Kevlar®, Tyvek® and Tychem® have been protecting people around the world for more than 40 years.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.