PBI Performance Products is renowned for creating new standards of performance and protection that are recognised worldwide. An unwavering commitment to research and innovation has kept the company at the forefront of firefighter protection for almost 40 years.
PBI’s LP fibre embodies that drive to continuously push the limits of technical development in high-performance protective fabrics. It is lighter than ever, improving comfort, breathability and freedom of movement in structural firefighting gear, without compromising protection.
Fabric made with PBI LP, which stands for ‘lightweight performance’, is 10% lighter than other outer shells for structural fire gear, helping to reduce the risk of heat stress.
The lighter fibre performs incredibly well when used in outer shell fabrics, even when tested against other heavier meta-aramid blend outer shells.
In an independent test undertaken by BTTG in the same conditions the 180gsm PBI LP garment outperformed an identical garment made with 220gsm meta-aramid outer shell. An 8-second burn test was undertaken on the 2006 version of the male heat-sensing manikin known as RALPH, which was developed by BTTG and conforms to ISO 13506. For the test the hands and head were not used, leaving 123 sensors on torso, arms and legs to monitor the temperature on the surface of the manikin during the test.
The BTTG tests showed second- and third-degree burn injury prediction of only 1.8% for the garment with lighter PBI LP, compared to a much higher figure of 19.3% burn injury for the meta-aramid, despite the meta-aramid also being 40gsm heavier.
Like all PBI fabrics, PBI LP delivers excellent tensile strength and will not become brittle, shrink or break open when exposed to flame and high temperatures. This means that the integrity of the internal layers of the garment is protected and the transfer of any radiant heat is slower, allowing more time for firefighters to escape to safety in a situation such as a flashover. PBI’s protection from exposure to heat and flame has been proven over many years of independent testing and performance in the field.
In a Dynamic Flame Test, which is used to demonstrate the time it takes for an outer shell to break down under tension, PBI LP of 180gsm lasted 48 seconds, while a much heavier 225gsm Para-aramid/Meta-aramid fabric lasted just 3 seconds.
PBI’s development process always takes account of the balance between comfort and protection. That is why outer shells made with PBI LP join a wide range of PBI fabrics that meet the need of every situation and work effectively as an integral part of all garment design. Each product has different properties and applications, but every PBI fabric exceeds the required protection standards from heat and flame for the outer shell.
Firefighters who wear PBI can do their job with the confidence and peace of mind that their PPE has been tested and proven to offer the highest levels of protection.
For more information, go to www.pbiproducts.com