What is Nomex® and what are its features?

Some months ago, we saw a Formula1 pilot, Romain Grosjean, suffer a scary crash during the first lap of Bahrain Grand Prix. A few seconds later, Haas, another pilot, was able to walk through the flames. Many journalists and media talked about it like it was a miracle. Actually, there is a more logic answer to it, and it is Nomex® fiber.

Nomex® characteristics

Nomex® is a synthetic fiber which is flame and heat resistant. It is one of the first fibers resistent to flames, with a higher proved performance. Chemically, it is a meta-aramid.

DuPont, the developer of the Nomex® fiber, specifically engineered the heat and flame resistance characteristics of the molecular structure of Nomex® fabric. Unlike the chemical treatments applied to other garments, its method prevents the material from wearing out due to its protective characteristics. In addition, they designed the FR (flame retardant) product with a combination of electric art protection. Nomex® does not melt or drip, and it also prevents combustion in air. But what makes it unique compared to other flame resistant garments is its ability to char and thicken when exposed to intense heat. Therefore, it prevents and minimizes injuries from exposure to flames or heat.

Its impressive qualities don’t end there. Nomex® fiber is highly resistant to hydrocarbons and some other organic solvents. It also has a good level of alkali resistance, but only when exposed to room temperature. Nomex® fiber has even greater resistance to X-rays and beta / gamma radiation than nylon fabric.

Ropa de protección de calor, llama y arco eléctrico en cazadora cerrada

What temperatura does Nomex® set on fire?

Even though Nomex® fiber has a low inflamability level, it does get to a point where it reaches the fire point.

Nylon fabrics melt at 489ºF/254ºC, while, to this temperatura, the Nomex® fiber is still able to retain up to 60% of its original strength and resistance.

Beyond 700ºF/370ºC, the Nomex® can’t keep the temperature. At this point, it starts degradating until it weakens and becomes breakable.

NOMEX® applications

Nomex® is used in a wide range of jobs due to its fabric characteristics and thermal properties when there is a possible exposure to a fire source or an electric arc. Here are some of the most common industries and applications in which Nomex® garments are used:

  • Oil and petrochemical operations
  • Electricians
  • Public Service Workers
  • Firemen
  • Military
  • Astronauts
  • Emergency medical professionals
  • Any industry where there is the possibility of exposure to fire or an electric arc or explosion.

Nomex® Flame Resistant Garments Nomex®

Nomex® is used to manufacture different pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as overalls, jackets and pants.

At Oroel you can find the highest quality Nomex® garments with reliable heat and fire resistance characteristics.