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Thread: Fire Retardant Utilities: The Way of the Future?

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    Default Fire Retardant Utilities: The Way of the Future?

    So with the issuing of the FROG cammies and FRACU, it seems that it has been decided that fire-retardant uniforms are an essential piece of kit for today's combat environment. However, FROG and FRACU have only replaced regular utilities for wear in deployed locations outside the wire. I am well familiar with the durability issues with the FROG cammies (not sure if this is an issue with the FRACU, but I imagine it would be given that they are made out of the same material). Obviously it would be best to have one uniform that combines durability and fire retardant properties into one, eliminating the need for what are essentially garrison/training cammies and cammies that are strictly for combat.

    What's everyone's thoughts on the feasibility of introducing fire-retardant cammies that share the durability of our regular utilities? Has there been any research done in this area?

    On a side note, I have heard that new, more durable, FROG cammies are supposed to be issued this year, although I have yet to see any information on this.

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    Member chopper255's Avatar
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    How many washes until the fire retardent is washed out of them? Proban only gets about 30-40 washes before it is just like good old fashion cotton.

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    Senior Member tercio67's Avatar
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    TenCate Protective Fabrics' GEN2 is a aramid fibre that does not rely on a coating for its fire retardent properties.

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    Senior Member Winger's Avatar
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    Are these uniforms more uncomfortable to wear in warmer environments than regular uniforms? Do they trap moisture more due the fire retardant treatment?

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    Does anybody know what is the biggest danger in regard to flames in combat?
    Is it explosives (though usually there's very little flame from explosives without fuel)? Is it Whiskey Papa going off in webbing/used against troops? Is it accidents/natural fires?
    Seems all of a sudden people are going nuts over flash-retardent kit, and I think it's totally understandable if you've been involved in an accident involving fire, or gotten stuck in a place with a fire started by a flashbang or some such, but what is the reason that it's coming up so strongly right now?

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    Senior Member tercio67's Avatar
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    Troops are better protected from blast injuries due to better body armour, however recent experiences with IED's and the resultant heat combined with the enclosed space of a vehicle led to a demand for fire retardent clothing.

    TenCate Protective Fabrics' GEN2 is a improved, more comfortable to wear, fire retardent fabric. It delivered $15 million worth of this fabric to the USA for use in military clothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tercio67 View Post
    Troops are better protected from blast injuries due to better body armour, however recent experiences with IED's and the resultant heat combined with the enclosed space of a vehicle led to a demand for fire retardent clothing.

    TenCate Protective Fabrics' GEN2 is a improved, more comfortable to wear, fire retardent fabric. It delivered $15 million worth of this fabric to the USA for use in military clothing.
    OK, that makes sense.
    And now that I think about it, propane tanks are fairly easy and available for IED material, and most compressed gasses have a low combustion temperature and thus create heat and fire, and thus makes fire-retardent clothing or layers a fairly important piece of kit.

    Still I do think that FR-clothing is not going to be the best in terms of breathability compared to other more conventional materials.
    Again, I have very limited experience (but some still) of FR-treated kit, so it's fairly hard to judge.

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    Senior Member tercio67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happyrender View Post
    ...Still I do think that FR-clothing is not going to be the best in terms of breathability compared to other more conventional materials....
    It's a trade off, comfort vs burns. So I think the heavy fabric will still be used for vehicle crews and the new lighter fabric for dismounts.

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    Senior Member KEEPER0311's Avatar
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    I wore the FROG suits in Iraq 2009, no real noticeable difference in regards to breath-ability of the uniforms. Never had issues with mine loosing the fire retardant ability as I never really got a chance to was them...

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