PBI Performance Products is enjoying continued global growth as more fire and rescue services specify the company’s outer fabrics as the preferred choice to protect their firefighters. PBI fabrics are internationally renowned for their exceptional flame resistance and thermal protection from radiant heat, built on a 30-year heritage of technical excellence and innovation.
Firefighters operate with the confidence protected by PBI in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East, North America and much of Europe, including Scandinavia and Germany.
In Northeast Asia more and more fire brigades are choosing PBI outer shell fabrics to protect their fire fighters, recognising the high levels of performance and comfort. In Macau, firefighters have been wearing PBI fabrics for more than ten years after converting from their meta-aramid fire suits in 2003. Fire services in South Korea have been upgrading their fire suits with PBI Gold® fabric since 2010. After extensive testing and wearer trials, Hong Kong Fire Service Department chose PBI Matrix® as its protective outer fabric in 2010. In recent years, some brigades in Taiwan have also switched to PBI fabric to protect their firefighters.
The move to PBI fabrics has also continued across Europe with a number of recent new contracts. In Sweden, Gothenburg Fire and Rescue Service recently changed to PPE with a new outer fabric manufactured by Viking, choosing Ibena Neo® with PBI, which provides excellent tensile strength and tear resistance, along with the inherent protective properties of PBI fibre. In the UK, Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has also opted to protect its firefighters with PBI Matrix® fabric in its new PPE ensemble, designed and manufactured by Bristol Uniforms.
In the Netherlands, Rotterdam Fire Department’s firefighters will be protected by PBI Matrix® fabric, which combines the high performing heat and flame protection of PBI Gold® with a durable matrix of high strength denier filaments to reduce wear and tear. The brigade’s new PPE is manufactured by Texport. PBI Matrix® is also the preferred choice in Ireland, where Dublin Fire Brigade’s firefighters will also benefit from the high standards of protection delivered by the fabric, supplied by Hunter Apparel Solutions.
In procuring their new fire-fighting ensembles, all of these fire and rescue services undertook detailed and demanding evaluations, setting extremely high performance standards for the component fabrics, as well as the complete suits. In all of these tests and criteria, PBI fabrics exceeded the required standards.
PBI fabrics are lightweight, strong and achieve a high standard of flame resistance. They will not become brittle, shrink or break open when exposed to flame and high temperatures. This also 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.
The outer fabric is the first line of defence in any protective clothing ensemble and has to be strong and durable to cope with the impacts and abrasions that come with the job. It does not matter how well a fabric protects the wearer if it will not hold up to the working environment. PBI fabrics are very durable with high tear and UV resistance. They have a proven track record of maintaining performance and protection levels throughout the lifetime of the garment and that high durability also helps to ensure low maintenance.
Ian Callaghan, Director of International Sales and Marketing at PBI Performance Products said: “The continued success and growth of the business across all of our markets is a result of the quality and performance of our products and the commitment of our team to work closely with fire and rescue services to fully understand their needs.”
He continued: “The specialist knowledge and expertise that we have developed through close relationships with our fire service end users and supply chain partners over the last 30 years informs our continued innovation and product development.”
For more information, go to www.pbiproducts.com