Fire and Heat
One of the most important advantages conferred by wool clothing relative to synthetic garments is wool's greater relative resistance to fire and heat.
Wool does not melt, although it does burn. But wool burns at a much higher temperature than that required to melt synthetics, which are infamous for melting onto skin and into wounds.
“Wool burns with a self-extinguishing flame and produces a soft ash that dissipates and will not lodge in open wounds,” says Jeanette M. Cardamone, a chemist at the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania. “Synthetic materials, on the other hand, form hot, molten beads that can drip into a wound and cause trauma.”
- A very high ignition temperature of 570-600° C
- A high Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI) (the measure of the oxygen level needed to sustain combustion)
- A low heat of combustion (the measure of the amount of heat energy released in the burning process)
- Does not melt or stick
GREAT THANKS TO THE IWTO for the preceding information.
This study by the United States Forest Service explains why fire fighters are prohibited from wearing synthetic base layers ... Only natural fibers are allowed because of the burns caused by melting of synthetics.
19 June 2018