Fire-Dex Blog

How to Choose the Best Turnout Composite System

Before the development of our exclusive TECGEN71 outer shell, it was common perception that optimal thermal protective performance (TPP) could not be achieved in combination with maximum total heat loss (THL).  We now know a balance of these two properties exists and can be found within our carefully designed TECGEN71 fabric.

What is the importance of TPP and THL?

  • TPP measures the amount of time it takes for the flame's heat to pass through the 3 layer composite and cause a second degree burn. 
  • THL, on the other hand, measures breathability, or the ability of the total composite system to allow heat and moisture to evaporate.

Historically, thicker, heavier layers were used to improve thermal protection because it was thought that more layers equaled a stronger barrier to fireground elements. Though layers protect against burns and tears, the additional weight makes mobility challenging and decreases the turnouts overall ability to dissipate heat. In short, this method might increase TPP, but typically leads to decreased breathability, making the firefighter work harder and risk cardiac fatigue.


**NFPA 1971 minimum requirements for TPP >35
**NFPA 1971 minimum requirements for THL >205 w/m2


So, how does TECGEN71 exhibit a perfect balance of TPP and THL?

In collaboration with Milliken ResQ, a global innovation leader, Fire-Dex performed multiple tests to determine which fiber combinations created the strongest, most flexible fabrics while paying special attention to their TPP and THL values.

The result was TECGEN71, an outer shell built with the proven strength of DuPont Kevlar®/Nomex® and TECGEN® fibers. 


TECGEN71 is the only outer shell that can be paired with Prism™ 1-layer and Glide Ice™ 1-layer (the lightest existing thermal liners) and pass NFPA 1971 certification. This is due to its ability to withstand high levels of thermal exposure. 


The lighter weight total composite system allows more breathability and flexibility, yielding a 50% higher THL without sacrificing TPP or durability.



Categorized: Products & Equipment, TECGEN71

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts


See all