Effectiveness of Proban flame retardant in used clothing

Jim House, J. Squire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During conflict, Royal Navy personnel wear a two-ply flame-retardant (FR) “action coverall” (AC) and “anti-flash” (AF) hood and gloves, made from Proban (Albright & Wilson's registered trademark) treated cotton. It is a widely held belief that extended wear, and repeated washing damages the Proban® FR finish making the garments more susceptible to ignition if exposed to flame. To examine this, new and used AC and AF were exposed up to 10?s on a flame manikin. The examples of used AC and AF had been worn for approximately 56 days and washed 20 times over a 12 week period at sea. For flame challenges up to 10?s, much greater than expected in a fuel explosion, the protection afforded by the used clothing was as good as for the new clothing, with some evidence that protection had improved. It is concluded that the Proban® FR treatment was not damaged by wear or washing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-367
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Clothing Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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