During the process of selecting turnout gear, it’s inevitable you will come across truths and fables for just about all brands, products and research. We are here to help you filter through the noise and determine if our TECGEN71 Outer Shell is the right fit for your department.
MYTH #1: TECGEN IS A CARBON FIBER
While TECGEN fiber consists of a high-density carbon shell surrounding a visco-elastic core, it is NOT a carbon fiber.
TECGEN fiber offers the thermal protection of carbon fiber without the traditional drawbacks of compromised strength.
MYTH #2: TECGEN71 COMPOSITES AREN’T LIGHTER THAN TYPICAL COMPOSITE SYSTEMS
The thermal protection of TECGEN fiber allows TECGEN71 to be paired with Prism™ 1-layer and Glide Ice™ 1-Layer, the lightest thermal liners available, resulting in the lightest composite systems ever seen in the fire service.
This is how TECGEN71 composite systems contribute to a 4-pound weight reduction in comparison to typical composites.
That’s right, pounds not ounces!
Discover how to choose the best composites for your department's needs.
MYTH #3: TECGEN71 IS NOT DURABLE
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recognizes the importance of fabric strength and sets minimum requirements for performance. These requirements make outer shells in PPE some of the strongest materials in any industry.
According to these requirements, new outer shells must exhibit a minimum tear strength of 22lbs and a break strength of 140lbs.
Let’s put this in perspective:
TECGEN71’s unique structure exceeds these NFPA requirements while offering light weight composites with significantly better breathability & freedom of mobility.
Does more strength equal durability?
Engineering fabric with excessive strength, beyond the NFPA requirements, may compromise more important attributes such as breathability, flexibility and cost.
The focus needs to shift to heat stress, the current epidemic facing all firefighters worldwide.
MYTH #4: TECGEN71 HAS RAPID STRENGTH LOSS AFTER UV EXPOSURE
The truth is ALL outer shells degrade significantly with UV exposure. Even outer shells proven to be the most durable have decreased tear strength after extended exposure. The NFPA strength requirements are for new fabrics and have already taken into account the UV degradation that naturally occurs.
Regardless of the outer shell, it is important to keep turnout gear stored properly- away from windows and fluorescent lighting.
MYTH #5: TECGEN71 PERFORMS POORLY ON THE TABER ABRASION TEST
Taber Abrasion tests involve mounting an outer shell material to a turntable platform that rotates while two abrading wheels apply pressure to create a rub-wear action against the fabric.
What should firefighters know about the Taber Abrasion Test?
While this test is designed to demonstrate accelerated wear testing and may have some value in material evaluation, extreme caution should be taken when comparing results of various fabrics.
***Taber Abrasion is NOT a required NFPA performance test and has been shown to provide inconsistent results, showing no correlation to durability or actual field performance.
How does TECGEN71 perform?
On the Taber Abrasion test, TECGEN71 compares equally or better than comparable outer shells in the market. In the Fire-Dex laboratory, the Taber Abrasion test follows ASTM 3884 using two H-18 abrading wheels and it is weighted with a 500-gram weight on each side.
The following Taber Abrasion samples were tested at 500 cycles on the same machine, strictly following ASTM methods to ensure the most relevant comparison possible.