By :- Ojas Jain
Protection from extreme environmental conditions has always
been a critical requirement of textile products.
Protective textiles are a part of technical textiles that are used
principally for their performance or functional characteristics
rather than their aesthetic or decorative characteristics.
• As the name suggests, protective clothing and other textile
materials are used to protect human beings/atmosphere from
various natural/industrial hazards. Some the possible
environmental hazards are heat, cold, rain, snow, wind,
ultraviolet radiations, abrasion, dust, micro organisms,
radioactive radiations, static electricity etc. Some prominent
human/industrial hazards are fire, flash, industrial chemicals,
biohazards, high velocity projectiles, cutting/slashing by sharp
objects etc. We need optimum safety from all these hazards
when we are in the vicinity of one or more of them. Thus the
need of protective textiles is there to safe guard us.
Light Weight And Low Bulk
High Durability And Dimensional Stability
Good Handle And Drape
Low Noise Emission
Wind Proof And Snow Shedding
Heat And Melt Resistance/Low Smoke Emission
Safety From Radar Spectrum
Filter bags for hot gas, Industrial protective clothing, Racing
driver’s suit, Cargo covers, Boat covers, Fire hose
Body armour, Tyre cords, Radiator hose and brake shoes of
racing cars, Reinforced composites for aircraft, High speed
Aircraft and Space shuttle, Automotive, Medical Implants,
Aircraft and aerospace, Consumer goods, Roofing Tiles,
Corrosion resistant products used in highway overlay
Sail cloth, Marine ropes and cables, Protective clothing, Boat
Sports and leisure garments, Foundation garments, Support
Racing driver’s suit, Hot gas filtration, Thermal protective
Filtration media for oil industry, Medical Textile, Industrial
Military Application. Aircraft, Automobile, Sport, Electrical
Filtration media for corrosive material, Packing Material,
Oven GlovesNomex-Kevlar Heat
• A high temperature textile material is defined as a material,
which can be used above 200 o
C without decomposition
and without losing its major physical properties. Although
some fibres can be used for insulation and retain some
strength even above 2000 o
F, they lose their textile
characteristics at that temperature range. The thermal
insulation provided by fibrous material is mainly due to
the low thermal conductivity of the air entrapped in the
fibre web. Thus fibres, which are fine and dimensionally
stable at working temperatures, are used in thermal
protective clothing. Resistance to both flame and
associated heat transfer through the garment is defined as
Flame resistant fabrics are designed to resist ignition and
self-extinguish when ignited. It should also extinguish as
soon as the ignition source is removed.
Naturally thermo stable or fire retardant agent treated
fibres are used for obtaining fire protective function in
textiles. Flame resistance in fabrics can be developed by
1.By using inherent flame resistant materials and fibers
2.By giving FR treatments to fibers and fabrics
Chemical Spray Protection Chemical Splash Protection
• The purpose of chemical protective clothing and
equipment is to shield or isolate individuals from the
chemical, physical, and biological hazards that may be
encountered during hazardous materials operations.
During chemical operations, it is not always apparent
when exposure occurs. Chemical Protective Clothing is
used mainly to prevent exposure during hazardous
activities. These hazards can be grouped into categories
such as chemical, thermal, nuclear, radiation (X-rays,
UV) and biological hazards.
• The mechanical performance of fabrics is due to hybrid
yarns in their interlacing. Textiles for mechanical
protection can be manufactured from high strength
textile fibres used alone or along with metallic fibres.
MPT’s have a personal protective function against
different risk such as ballistic, blade cuts, fabric
puncture, projection of fragments, knives, slashing etc
besides combined use of high performance material such
as glass fibre, HT Polyethylene or steel.
• Ballistic protection is a class of protective clothing,
which aims at protecting the individuals from the bullets
and steel fragments from hand-held weapons and
exploding ammunitions. The basic idea of spreading the
load over a large area is still applied. It is better to
dissipate the energy of impact by deformation and
breaking the protective material. Ballistic protection
process is a complex phenomenon involving the
transverse velocity propagation, tensile properties and
the fine structure. In the recent years, use of ultra-high
modulus polyethylene (UHMPE) fibres produced by gel
spinning has been started in manufacturing of ballistic
• Workers and officers working in nuclear plants and those
working at & near the source of radioactive raw materials
are prone to frequent exposure to alpha, beta and gama
radiations. Radiation protection is also necessary for X-
ray professionals, workers in cancer treatment centers
and other places subject to ionizing radiation.
• An important aspect of most radiation protection
programs at nuclear facilities is the protection of workers
from radioactive contamination while handling radio-
active materials or working in radioactively contaminated
environments. In this regard, protective clothing is used
extensively to protect workers from contamination.
• The aim of ultra violet protective finish is to reduce a
person's UVR exposure. Electromagnetic radiations of
wavelength between 150 and 400 nm are termed as
Ultraviolet rays. Approximately 10% of sun’s energy is
in the form of ultraviolet radiations. Atmosphere absorbs
most of the noxious radiations emitted by the sun, only
5% of the harmful radiations reach to the surface of the
earth. UV absorbers such as Benzotriazole and phenyl
benzotriazole are able to absorb the damaging UV rays
of sunlight. UV absorbers convert UV energy in to
harmless heat energy.
• The UV blocking capacity of a fibre can be improved by
incorporating TiO2into its structure.
• Clean room is a work area with controlled temperature
and humidity to protect sensitive equipment from
• Clean room operators are required to wear special non-
linting body suits, overshoes, gloves, head coverings and
masks. In some clean rooms, workers even pass through
an air blast upon entering to remove particles and ensure
minimal contamination of the environment. Clean room
textiles should be lint free, antistatic and resistant to
human contamination such as from hair or dead skin
• High visibility materials have changed the appearance of
clothes worn for both work and leisure pursuits. Today,
there are more technologies on offer than in the past,
which are able to make people and objects more visible.
Also, a wider availability of fabrics, materials, designs
and colours has led to greater choice.
• With advances in technology, designers and
manufacturers of this type of apparel have been able to
make safety features fashionable. Modern manufacturing
techniques allow the use of colour to disguise reflective
material so that it can not be seen during normal
Metallized products are used in various industrial,
speciality and protective clothing applications. Metallized
fabrics provide good abrasion resistance, reflectivity over
extended time, wear resistance and molten splash
resistance. Some applications of metallized fabrics in
textiles are mentioned below
1.Coating /laminating fabric with metal surfaces for better
2.Blending metal sliver with natural/synthetic fibres to
produce conductive textiles.
3.Composite yarns made of metal fibres yarns and textile
yarns are suitable for cut resistant fabrics
4.Chopped metal fibres can be air or wet layered with
textile fibres to form nonwoven textiles
Advanced Protection system
High Performance Fibres
Novel Yarn Spinning Technology
Challenges in Protective Textiles
Optimization of important properties.
Establish fibre properties according to end use.
The technical textile consumption under protech is estimated at
around Rs 1,387 crore which is expected to increase to around
Rs 2,386 crore by 2012-13.
The key Protech products are high altitude clothing, bullet-
proof jackets and fire retardant fabrics.
In the medium term (next 5 years), the protective textiles
industry is expected to achieve growth at the rate of 11-12%
year on year.
The demand for the protech products is dependent on the
improvements in worker safety practices, fire protective
standards for construction and the defense sector.
Continuous innovations & better understanding of the consumer
requirements is the need of the hour.
The technological trends and challenges ahead will be
determined by market pull demands, increasing environmental
awareness, personal safety and comfort, and performance
Due to the increasing health and safety issues at work,
protective textiles are the most essential and attractive segment
of textile market and will continue to do so.