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Where to Find PFOA and PFAS-Free Fabrics

Sustainability is a critical consideration in developing textiles for the dry filtration and aerospace industries. Many textile manufacturers are growing more conscious of the coatings used in their materials and are looking for more sustainable alternatives to fabrics that contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Here, we’ll explore what PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics are and where you can find them.

Understanding PFOA/PFAS Chemicals

PFAS includes various per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluoro octane sulfonate (PFOS), and more. While these chemicals were once approved by the EPA, they have recently been under rigorous scrutiny. Emerging studies have linked PFAS/PFOA to unwanted health and environmental effects.

At Tex Tech Industries, we are leading the way with PFOA and PFAS-free textiles made with environmentally friendly coating materials. These fabrics offer a sustainable solution for aircraft and dry filtration applications without sacrificing performance.

What Are PFOA/PFAS-Free Fabrics?

PFOA and PFAS-free fabrics are textiles manufactured with alternative materials to PFOA and PFAS chemicals. These fabrics offer numerous benefits, such as being non-toxic, eco-friendly, and sustainable. PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics come in various types, ranging from natural options like organic hemp or cotton to synthetic alternatives made with highly advanced, safe coatings.

Where to Find PFOA/PFAS-Free Fabrics

PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics are commonly found in various industries, including:

  • Aerospace. PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics are widely used in the aerospace industry for applications like aircraft interior components and flame-resistant upholstery. The textiles provide enhanced safety without introducing hazardous chemicals into critical aerospace environments. Newer alternative textiles feature similar water, stain, and oil repellency to PFAS fabrics.
  • Dry Filtration and Separation. The dry filtration and separation industry requires quality fabrics capable of trapping and filtering particles from the air as it passes through the filter. These fabrics are commonly made with PFOA/PFAS-free materials to reduce harm to people and the environment.

Tips for Identifying PFOA/PFAS-Free Fabrics

If you need PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics for your application, there are a couple of key things to look for. Be sure to select materials that feature certifications on their labels, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or OEKO-TEX Standard 100. These certifications signify a commitment to safe and sustainable textile manufacturing practices.

PFOA/PFAS-Free Fabrics From Tex Tech Industries

PFOA and PFAS chemicals can harm the environment and negatively impact personal health. As such, textile manufacturers like Tex Tech Industries have moved away from these chemicals in favor of safe, sustainable, and eco-friendly alternatives. With nearly a century of experience in the textile industry, the experts at Tex Tech can work with customers to deliver high-performance PFOA/PFAS-free fabric solutions for aircraft and dry filtration applications.

To aid in contributing to a greener and healthier future, contact Tex Tech today to learn more about our PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics. You can also request a quote to get started on your custom textile solution.

What Are Fluorocarbons, and Are They Toxic?

Fluorocarbons are a group of synthetic organic compounds with unique properties that make them useful in various industries. They are used in household and commercial products such as lubricants, sealants, waterproofing agents, and leather conditioners. While fluorocarbons have become an integral part of our modern world, their widespread use has raised concerns about their toxicity and environmental impact.

Here, we’ll delve into what fluorocarbons are and explore whether they pose a threat to our health and the environment.

What Are Fluorocarbons?

Fluorocarbons are compounds that contain fluorine and carbon. The bonds between carbon and fluorine are very strong and stable, giving fluorocarbons resistance to chemicals, heat, and electricity.

Fluorocarbons come in different forms with distinct chemical compositions, the most common of which include:

  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Fluorocarbons are used in everyday consumer products as well as industrial processes. They are found in aerosol propellants, refrigerants, non-stick coatings, electrical insulation, and firefighting foams.

Fluorocarbon Toxicity

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were once widely used in aerosol propellants and refrigerants. However, they have gained notoriety for their role in ozone depletion. This discovery has raised questions about the potential of certain fluorocarbons to harm the environment.

Research has revealed that man-made fluorocarbons don’t break down, accumulating in the environment and persisting in the atmosphere for extended periods of time. Fluorocarbons also accumulate in the bodies of humans and animals. As a result, long-term exposure may result in severe health risks, including chronic respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Today, manufacturers around the globe are putting sustainability at the forefront of their operations to prevent further damage to the environment and to protect human health. At Tex Tech, we are aware of the dangers and are striving to make a positive impact by following the changing regulations related to fluorocarbons. Tex Tech has developed alternative PFAS-free chemistries that meet our customers requirements while also enabling us to be better stewards of the environment.

Regulation and Mitigation of Fluorocarbons

Due to international agreements like the Montreal Protocol, the use of many harmful fluorocarbons has been discontinued. Many countries also have national and local restrictions on the use of these chemicals.

As the dangers associated with fluorocarbons come to light, safer products are being developed to take their place. These alternatives include natural refrigerants, hydrocarbons, and water-based firefighting foams. Using safer alternatives reduces the environmental and health risks associated with fluorocarbon use. Ongoing research efforts focus on developing even safer, more sustainable alternative materials and practices to replace fluorocarbons across all industries.

Consider Safer Alternatives to Fluorocarbons

Fluorocarbons have long been a component in many household and industrial products. However, the potential dangers of fluorocarbons outweigh their benefits. Studies show that fluorocarbons pose substantial risks to the environment and can cause serious health conditions. As a result, regulations are pushing manufacturers to shift to more environmentally friendly chemicals.

Tex Tech is a global leader in the development, prototyping, and production of high-performance textiles for use in the most challenging environments. Our research team constantly works to create innovative, creative, safe, and sustainable solutions for all of our customer’s needs. Contact us to learn more about the sustainability of our products, or request a quote to get started on a solution for your application.

How Do You Extinguish a Lithium Battery Fire?

Today, lithium-ion batteries are found in many electronics, from smartphones to medical devices to cars. They provide reliable power with recharging capabilities. However, the popularity of this type of battery requires knowledge of what to do in the event of a lithium battery fire. Specializing in flame-retardant materials and fabrics, Tex Tech is an industry expert in handling this type of hazard.

Learn the risks related to lithium batteries, how to prevent a fire, and what to do to put out a lithium battery fire.

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Why Do Lithium Batteries Catch Fire?

If a lithium battery overheats, it can burst into flames. This thermal instability, referred to as thermal runaway, happens when flaming gases are vented from the lithium-ion cells in the battery. The overheating of one failing cell causes a chain reaction in the other cells. The reaction can happen within milliseconds to hours, depending on how quickly each cell fails. The exothermic heat given off during the reaction may be sufficient to start a fire.

Triggers for lithium battery fires include:

  • Short circuits. Improper storage, damage, and metal dust left over from manufacturing can cause circuits to short, leading to combustion.
  • Overheating. Extreme temperatures on loading docks, cargo holds, or tarmacs can lead to overheating or fire during transit or storage.
  • Rough handling. Dropping a battery or jostling it excessively during transport or use can set off thermal runaway.
  • Physical damage. Damage from shredding or dismantling a battery during recycling operations can result in an explosion.
  • Wet/humid conditions. Rainwater, salty air, and humidity might cause short circuits and trigger thermal runaway even without prior damage to the battery.

How to Put Out a Lithium Battery Fire

In the case of a lithium battery fire, there are several ways to extinguish it based on the size and type of battery.

Class D fire extinguishers are effective against lithium-metal battery fires. Lithium-ion battery fires are Class B fires, indicating the presence of flammable liquids, so a standard dry chemical or ABC extinguisher can put them out. Lithium battery fire extinguishers counteract the liquid electrolytes in the battery that create conductive pathways.

Small lithium batteries contain very little lithium, so they can be doused with water. To put out large lithium-ion battery fires, use a foam extinguisher containing CO2, powder graphite, ABC dry chemical, or sodium carbonate.

In battery pack fires, each cell may burn on a different timeline. Place the battery pack in a protected outdoor space to allow it to completely burn out.

If a fire cannot be extinguished, let the battery burn out in a controlled way. Prevent the fire from spreading by soaking the surrounding area with water.

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How to Prevent a Lithium Battery Fire

Recognizing the warning signs of a failing lithium battery is paramount to preventing a fire. Unusual heat, noise, smoke, odor, or swelling are all indications that the battery is failing.

Follow these tips to prevent a lithium battery fire from taking place.

  1. Buy batteries from reputable manufacturers.
  2. Never try to recharge non-rechargeable batteries.
  3. Once a charging cycle is complete, disconnect the battery from the charger.
  4. Use the charger that came with the battery or one approved as compatible by the manufacturer.
  5. Keep batteries away from extreme temperatures.
  6. Charge batteries in a fire-safe charging bag, if possible.
  7. Inspect batteries after they are first installed and periodically after recharging. If they appear damaged, do not recharge.
  8. Remove lithium-ion batteries from items before storage.

If a charging device emits excessive heat, unplug it from the power source and store it away from combustible objects until the device has cooled down. If necessary, replace the battery or call the fire department.

Choose Tex Tech for Lithium Battery Fire Safety

Lithium-ion batteries allow us many conveniences. To use these power supplies responsibly, we should be aware of how to prevent and put out lithium-ion battery fires. Though these events are rare, it is best to be prepared.

Tex Tech is a leading manufacturer of high-performance industrial textiles, including flame-retardant fabrics for high-temperature or fire applications. Contact us or request a quote to learn more about how our products and capabilities can serve you.

What Are Coated Fabrics?

The coated-fabrics industry has realized significant growth in the past decade, largely propelled by the rising safety standards in the aerospace, protective clothing, and transportation industries. This discussion goes into depth about coated fabrics, highlighting the different types of coatings for specific applications.

Coated Fabrics Explained

Coated fabrics can be made from woven, knit, and non-woven textiles to which a polymer or resin is applied to impart additional characteristics. This can be done to:

  • Generate greater protection such as corrosion resistance, strength, thermal resistance, durability, abrasion resistance, etc.
  • Coatings can also be used to make materials capable of being welded or to make them air or water-holding or resistant.

Commonly used coatings include:

  • Urethane
  • Silicone
  • Solvated rubber
  • PVC
  • Acrylic

Depending on their end-use, coated fabrics can offer numerous benefits. For example, they can be anti-fungal, anti-static, or antibacterial. They can also provide the following:

  • Resistance to environmental challenges
  • High visibility
  • Enhanced elasticity
  • Improved weldability

Polymer Coated Fabric

Depending on specific material requirements, different substrates can be selected to cater to desired end-product attributes. The correct polymer system can then be selected and the coating can be applied to one or both sides depending on their intended use.  Examples of such fabrics are:

  • Wovens (2D and 3D)
  • Non-wovens
  • Weft-knits
  • Warp-knits
  • Circular knits

Polymer coatings represent a wide selection of polymer-based materials with unique functions. Popular polymers include:

  • Rubber polymers
  • Silicone
  • Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
  • PVC

Coated fabrics are used to enhance the properties of dynamic fabric products, providing benefits such as antimicrobial properties, metallic or electrically conductive attributes, and even phase-change capabilities. With the advancement of coating technology, smart textiles are becoming increasingly prevalent, allowing fabrics to be more reactive to electrical impulses and electronic commands.

Rubber Coated Fabric

Rubber-coated fabrics are manufactured using calendar coating or spread coating processes. Bonding agents are applied to the fabric substrate. Different rubber compounds can be used to coat the fabric depending on the product’s intended use.

The coated fabrics then undergo a curating process to strengthen the bond between the rubber and the fabric. Advantages of rubber-coated fabrics include:

  • Great stability
  • Durability
  • Low penetration and diffusion
  • Electrically non-conductive
  • Temperature, oil, and weather resistant

Silicone Coated Fabric

Silicone is an outstanding polymer for enhancing a fabric’s heat resistance and providing anti-stick or anti-slip properties. It is also chemically inert and can resist water absorption.  Popular uses include aerospace Thermal Protection Systems, gaskets, airbag fabrics, thermal insulation barriers, medical coatings, and more. Some of the top benefits of silicone-coated fabrics include:

  • Silicone has superior dielectric properties
  • Silicone offers excellent resistance to weather, chemicals, ozone, and aging
  • Silicone is neutral, non-toxic, and non-stick

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Coated Fabric

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a very versatile polymer that offers increased durability, flexibility, tensile strength, or make your coated fabrics hold air or water, and many other performance enhancements.  Depending on your specific requirements, the compound can be designed using softer TPU’s, such as polyether or polyester, or harder compounds utilizing aromatic or aliphatic urethanes.  

TPU coating compounds can be water-based or solvent-based. Solvent-based coatings have strong adhesion to fabrics which is ideal for products that will utilize welded seams.  These PU-coated materials are ideal for applications that need to be air or water holding.  PU-coated fabrics are commonly used in medical fabrics (blood pressure cuffs, cold therapy devices, etc), defense materials for air/water sealing (ballistic vest heat weldable materials, anti g-suit bladders, life vests/rafts), recreation markets (SCUBA buoyancy compensators, life vests, sporting pads).

PVC Laminated Fabrics

PVC coatings offer enhanced abrasion resistance, durability, flexibility and weather resistance.  These materials are commonly used for architectural applications, tents, geomembranes, or inflatable structures. PVC offers a cost effective solution that is a good solution in acidic applications or applications involving food or drinking water. 

Note that applying a finishing topcoat offers better resistance against dirt particles. Other finish coatings offer UV resistance, making the fabric more durable.

High-Performance Coated Fabrics from Tex Tech

At Tex Tech, we pride ourselves in our ability to seamlessly integrate process engineering and material design to produce a final coated product that will make your product stand out in today’s marketplace.

We specialize in coating fabrics with a wide selection of polymer-based materials such as PVC, polyurethane, silicone, rubber, and more. Contact us today for more information about our services and to request a quote

Tex Tech Partners With NASA to Provide Thermal Protection for the SLS (Space Launch System)

NASA utilizes thousands of materials to build the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. As part of the Artemis program, Tex Tech is a supplier of materials used as a thermal ablative material in the Space Launch System’s solid-fueled rocket nozzles on the SRB (solid rocket booster) and Orion’s LAS (launch abort system).

What is a Thermal Protection System?

Thermal protection systems are crucial components in aircraft and space orbiters, serving to regulate temperatures, especially during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Made up of a combination of high-temperature-resistant surface fabric and thermal insulation, these systems protect the outer structure and its contents from both intense heat and cold temperatures encountered at high altitudes. The TPS helps maintain appropriate temperatures, preserving the airframe and ensuring safe and successful missions.

Thermal protective systems are produced using:

  • Ablative assemblies
  • 3D textiles
  • Current TPS products
  • Legacy TPS products
  • Felt Reusable Surface Insulation (FRSI)
  • Tile Bonding
  • Reinforced Carbon Carbon (RCC)
  • Infused Stabilized Abrasive Insulation Felt
  • Multi-layer Felt Hybrids (MFH)

Tex Tech Industries supplies material used to form an ablative structure inside solid-fueled rocket nozzles. It protects the metal structure of the vehicle from the extreme heat generated during the launch.

Why Thermal Protection is Critical for the Future of Orion and the Artemis Program

NASA’s Artemis program is an effort to put astronauts on the lunar surface with the goal of developing an ongoing presence there. The most challenging objective of the Artemis mission is to utilize the moon as a stepping stone for a future mission to Mars.

As the exploration vehicle for the program, the Orion spacecraft has been designed with the utmost care and attention to detail, incorporating over 50 years of spaceflight research and development. The first integrated mission, Artemis I, will see an uncrewed Orion venture thousands of miles beyond the moon over a period of about six weeks. Artemis I will lay the foundation for future missions, including the launch of Artemis II, where the Orion spacecraft will serve as the crew’s transport to space. The Orion will not only transport the astronauts, but it will also provide the necessary support for their missions and offer emergency abort capabilities in case of an unforeseen event. The spacecraft is designed to ensure a safe return from deep space with its capabilities for re-entry from high velocities.

One of the most critical components of the Orion spacecraft is its thermal protection system, which is responsible for protecting both the spacecraft and the future astronauts it will carry from the dangers of deep space travel. The success of the thermal protection system is essential to the success of future missions.

Learn More About Thermal Protections Systems with Tex Tech

The aerospace and aviation industries rely on thermal protection systems to guard against the extreme heat and cold associated with the launch of spacecraft, high altitudes, and atmospheric re-entry conditions. Tex Tech Industries develops thermal protection systems that meet rigorous demands and can perform reliably under intense conditions.

For over a hundred years, Tex Tech has been a leading manufacturer of technical textiles. The company continues to be at the cutting edge of innovation in high-performance textiles. We deliver individualized solutions for the most challenging applications.

Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or to request a quote.

Inherent vs. Treated Flame Resistant Fabrics: What’s the Difference?

Many workers are presented with thermal hazards such as molten metals, arc flash, hot liquids, and flame. In environments where these hazards are present, flame-resistant (FR) personal protective equipment (PPE) is of paramount importance. When selecting such gear there are many important terms that one may be confronted with. The most common distinction is inherent fabric vs. treated fabrics.

A piece of protective equipment can be classified as an inherent fabric if it is woven using some percentage of a fiber that is itself chemically flame-resistant. These are generally oxidized fibers or fibers synthetically derived from petrochemicals that have been chemically altered. In such garments, the flame-resistant properties are inherently present in the fiber’s polymer structure and can never be lost due to washing the garment.

Protective equipment may be labeled as a treated fabric if fibers have been chemically treated to achieve FR properties, either before weaving or as a chemical finish on the garment. Some treated fabrics can lose their FR capabilities over time or with frequent or improper washing, although advances in the FR field have produced treated fabrics that retain their protective qualities for the entire lifetime of the product. The first such treated fabric was introduced in 1987, and the difference in efficacy between treated and inherent FR fabrics has been shrinking ever since. Even so, many purchasers of FR equipment turn instead to inherent fabrics or inherently flame retardant fabric due to the ongoing misconception that all treated FR garments will lose their protective properties over time.

Inherent vs. Heat Treated Fabrics

Inherent vs. Treated FR Fabrics

Heat-treated fabrics are materials made from the addition of flame-retardant chemicals to provide some level of flame resistance. The additive forms a strong bond with the polymer of the fiber, which is often itself not flame-resistant. This bond is difficult or impossible to remove when proper laundering and care is applied. One potential pitfall of such gear is that there is no way to visually inspect that the FR quality of the equipment is intact. If outside the useful lifetime of the equipment, or if improperly laundered, the FR qualities may be reduced or removed with almost no way to determine that this has happened.

This problem is not present with inherent FR fabrics, as the chemical properties of the fibers themselves cannot be washed out. This may cause inherent fabrics to sell at higher costs since they typically offer longer useful lifetimes. Since there is no regulatory body governing the use of this term, however, it has often been applied loosely—often to garments containing no more than 15% FR fibers blended with naturally flammable fibers. Some garments that are woven of natural fibers treated before the weaving process have even been marketed as inherent, so to some extent, the term has lost meaning.

Inherent FR Fabrics: Pros and Cons

The primary advantages of inherent FR fabrics include:

  • High level of protection from thermal hazards
  • Often present higher thermal protective performance (TPP) scores than treated fabrics
  • Long service life
  • FR properties will never wash out
  • Garments will not ignite in normal O2 concentrations
  • May char or expand (typically garments created with oxidized fibers) to provide increased thermal resistance under continuous exposure to a thermal hazard
  • Lightweight

The most notable disadvantages of inherent FR fabrics include:

  • Higher upfront cost (albeit offset by longer useful lifetime)
  • Purportedly less comfortable than some treated fabrics of cotton or other cellulosic origins
  • Inconsistency in application of the term ‘inherent fabric’ or ‘inherently flame retardant fabric’ that is often driven by marketing motives, rather than science and metrics relating to performance

Treated FR Fabrics: Pros and Cons

Here are some of the primary advantages of treated FR fabrics:

  • Cheaper than most inherent garments
  • Many available treated fabrics now provide life-of-garment FR protection
  • Generally considered more comfortable
  • Many available treated fabrics now only char similar to inherent fabrics, rather than combusting when exposed to a heat source
  • Most treated fabrics will spontaneously extinguish a flame when the source of heat is removed

The largest disadvantages of treated fabrics include:

  • Some treated fabrics will lose their protective qualities over time
  • Some treated fabrics off-gas as a method of flame retardancy, producing harmful gases that in some cases include gaseous cyanide
  • Many treated fabrics use increased mass as a means of increasing FR metrics such as TPP, which can increase heat strain and decrease comfort when wearing a heavier garment for extended periods
  • Some 88% cotton, 12% nylon (88/12 FR) and 100% cotton blends, in particular, lose their protective qualities over time with even proper laundering
  • If the flame-resistant capabilities have diminished, there is no way to tell upon visual inspection

Tex Tech: The Industry Leaders in FR Fabric Technology

Even with an understanding of the differences and usages of terms such as treated and inherent, the key factor is ultimately the safety and protective value offered to the wearer. In this regard, a more important distinction is proven vs. unproven. Tex Tech and our CarbonX brand have repeatedly proven effective in laboratory testing, as well as in the field—all with the added benefits of comfort and affordability. We work primarily with inherent fabrics.

  • CarbonX’s range hoods, gloves, undergarments, and other protective garments for industrial, motor-racing, and firefighting are superior in comfort and durability and made with inherent FR fibers.
  • Tex Tech provides aircraft seat fire blocking with only inherent fibers—and nothing else blended in—that lasts for many years on an airplane
  • Tex Tech offers high-tech Thermal Protection System (TPS) fabrics and materials for space launch vehicles to withstand rocket burn and the thermal stresses of re-entry

Tex Tech Industries has been a leader in the advanced textile industry for over a century. Throughout this time, we have devoted enormous resources to research and development in the areas of textile and fiber solutions. We have pioneered more than 7,000 of the best performing products in the marketplace and a wide range of high-performance materials.

We provide innovative solutions for all individual fabric requirements, backed with best-in-class customer service. We invite you to contact our experienced material scientists to discuss how to discuss how Tex Tech can provide the material solutions you need.

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Applications of Medical Fabrics

What Are Medical Textiles?

The term “medical textile” refers to materials that are designed for use in medical applications. It includes anything from versatile fibrous fabrics designed to safely treat wounds to coated and laminated materials used in air holding applications, PPE, and more.

Since these textiles are designed with medical use in mind, they have a number of properties that non-medical textiles do not. For example, they are non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-allergenic, antimicrobial, and biocompatible. These qualities ensure they are safe for personnel and patients.

Medical textiles are found in many medical devices and supplies. Below, we highlight some of the typical applications of these textiles.

Non-Implantable Fabric Applications

Applications of Medical Fabrics

Non-implantable medical products are used for various external patient care and treatment purposes, including monitoring patient conditions, protecting against infection, and promoting healing. Examples include tourniquets, blood pressure cuffs, inflatable casts, and COPD vests. The materials from which these products are made must be suitable for out-of-body applications and, depending on the application, contact with skin.

Tex Tech medical textiles fully meet these requirements. They exhibit the following properties:

  • Air holding capabilities
  • Filtration capabilities
  • Antimicrobial
  • Low to no virus/blood penetration
  • Thermal resistance
  • Flame retardance
  • Radiation shielding
  • Abrasion resistance
  • IR/RF/Heat weldability

Healthcare and Hygiene Medical Fabric Applications

In the healthcare industry, maintaining clean and sanitary conditions is important to ensuring the health and safety of patients and personnel. Medical fabrics for health and hygiene are used not only by hospitals but also by healthcare facilities and individuals for home use. Products for use in healthcare and hygiene should be clean, contamination-free, and prevent the spread of contaminants and pathogens. They may either be washable or discarded after a single-use.

Tex Tech offers healthcare fabrics that are used in the following applications:

  • Medical Isolation Gowns Level (Level 1-4)
  • PPE face masks
  • Medical beds (inflation chambers to reduce bed sores)
  • Pressure Infuser Bags (PIB)
  • Shoe covers
  • Medical tray covers
  • COPD vests
  • Medical braces
  • Inflatable tourniquets
  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • More
Applications of Medical Fabrics

Our fabrics are cleanable, comfortable. and antimicrobial. Additionally, medical fabrics from Tex Tech can be either reusable or disposable for reduced or eliminated virus/blood penetration.

Contact the Tex Tech Experts for Your Medical Fabrics Needs Today

Looking for quality fabrics for your medical application? Turn to the textile experts at Tex Tech Industries! Equipped with over 100 years of experience, we have the knowledge and skill necessary to develop the appropriate products for nearly any application or industry, including non-implantable and hygiene-focused medical products.

For more information about our medical textile offerings or custom capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your textile requirements with one of our team members, request a quote.

Common Types & Uses of Medical Coatings

Medical treatment requires close contact between the patient and health workers. That’s why every product used in this industry must meet strict standards.  Medical devices often require fabrics treated with a polymer coating to impart the necessary characteristics for proper form fit and function.

Tex-Tech is a leading medical fabric coating manufacturer, utilizing different polymers like urethane, PVC and silicone. We use state-of-the-art technology to create coatings with exceptional durability, microbial resistance, and air-holding capability. We offer a comprehensive range of coated medical fabrics for medical device manufacturers to enhance patient care and safety.

Common Equipment Coatings Used in the Medical Industry

Tex-Tech utilizes industry-leading textile coating and lamination processes to ensure our products meet the highest quality and standards. Tex-Tech applies various polymers to the fabric surface to enhance the underlying material’s capability to hold air and liquid and allows the material to be fused or welded using hot or radio frequency welding. TPU (urethane) is the most common type of polymer in RF or hot welding. 

We offer a range of polymer coating options, including:

  • Polyurethane 
  • Silicone 
  • PVC 
  • Acrylic 
  • Rubber (Including EPDM, Fluoroelastic, and natural nitrile) 
  • Phenolic 

The Purpose of Medical Coatings

Medical coating is crucial to uphold the sanitary and health standards of the industry. All medical instruments must meet certain sterility levels and standards to be suitable for use in medical settings.

Polymer coating allows the welding of fabrics to make them capable of holding air. Some devices that require this capability include blood pressure cuffs, pressure infuser bags, inflatable tourniquets, hyperbaric chambers, casts, and cold/ice therapy devices. 

Medical coating also prevents liquid penetration and maintains antimicrobial properties for the devices. Other applications for medical coating include:

  • Chemical stability: Medical devices should withstand different chemical environments. Medical coating adds a hard surface that protects the devices from abrasion, chipping, or scratching. 
  • Decoration and marking: Medical coating manufacturers use their techniques to add markers on their devices to ensure that defective devices can be isolated and traced back to the source. Medical coating is also crucial in providing as much information as possible to facilitate proper use. 
  • Hospital furniture and treatment seating: From treatment tables to chemotherapy chairs to bedside seating, hospital furniture must be durable enough to withstand frequent cleaning and sanitization while keeping patients and visitors comfortable.
  • Medical professional wearables: Medical professionals need comfortable, durable wearables to protect them from exposure to hazardous and biohazardous substances. Wearables include surgical gowns, aprons, shoe covers, protective shielding, and more.

Benefits of Medical Coatings

Textile coating can enhance a material’s characteristics and improve its performance based on the specification and application of the target product. Some of the typical characteristics that textile coating can improve in a medical device include:

  • Flame resistance 
  • Weldability 
  • Waterproofing 
  • Thermal resistance 
  • Durability 
  • Abrasion resistance 
  • Air holding capabilities 
  • Noise abatement capabilities 
  • Antimicrobial properties 

Medical coating is also crucial in the biomedical field to make implants better suited to interact with bone tissues. Besides that, here are other additional benefits of medical coating:

  • Rapid bone growth 
  • Biocompatibility 
  • Accelerated healing 
  • Enhanced bond strength
  • Low oxide coating 
  • Interconnected porosity 

Medical Coating with Tex-Tech

Medical coating is a crucial process in the manufacture of medical devices to deliver high patient safety standards required by the industry.  Several methods are used in medical coating, with textile and polymer coating being the most notable options. 

Tex-Tech is a trusted supplier of medical coatings for medical device manufacturers. With more than a century of experience and cutting-edge technologies, and  we’re capable of providing superior-quality textile solutions that meet all our customer’s needs and standards. Request a quote to get started or call us at 336-992-7500.

How Do You Extinguish a Lithium Battery Fire?

Today, lithium-ion batteries are found in many electronics, from smartphones to medical devices to cars. They provide reliable power with recharging capabilities. However, the popularity of this type of battery requires knowledge of what to do in the event of a lithium battery fire. Specializing in flame-retardant materials and fabrics, Tex Tech is an industry expert in handling this type of hazard.

Learn the risks related to lithium batteries, how to prevent a fire, and what to do to put out a lithium battery fire.

Why Do Lithium Batteries Catch Fire?

If a lithium battery overheats, it can burst into flames. This thermal instability, referred to as thermal runaway, happens when flaming gases are vented from the lithium-ion cells in the battery. The overheating of one failing cell causes a chain reaction in the other cells. The reaction can happen within milliseconds to hours, depending on how quickly each cell fails. The exothermic heat given off during the reaction may be sufficient to start a fire.

Triggers for lithium battery fires include:

  • Short circuits. Improper storage, damage, and metal dust left over from manufacturing can cause circuits to short, leading to combustion.
  • Overheating. Extreme temperatures on loading docks, cargo holds, or tarmacs can lead to overheating or fire during transit or storage.
  • Rough handling. Dropping a battery or jostling it excessively during transport or use can set off thermal runaway.
  • Physical damage. Damage from shredding or dismantling a battery during recycling operations can result in an explosion.
  • Wet/humid conditions. Rainwater, salty air, and humidity might cause short circuits and trigger thermal runaway even without prior damage to the battery.

How to Put Out a Lithium Battery Fire

In the case of a lithium battery fire, there are several ways to extinguish it based on the size and type of battery.

Class D fire extinguishers are effective against lithium-metal battery fires. Lithium-ion battery fires are Class B fires, indicating the presence of flammable liquids, so a standard dry chemical or ABC extinguisher can put them out. Lithium battery fire extinguishers counteract the liquid electrolytes in the battery that create conductive pathways.

Small lithium batteries contain very little lithium, so they can be doused with water. To put out large lithium-ion battery fires, use a foam extinguisher containing CO2, powder graphite, ABC dry chemical, or sodium carbonate.

In battery pack fires, each cell may burn on a different timeline. Place the battery pack in a protected outdoor space to allow it to completely burn out.

If a fire cannot be extinguished, let the battery burn out in a controlled way. Prevent the fire from spreading by soaking the surrounding area with water.

How to Prevent a Lithium Battery Fire

Recognizing the warning signs of a failing lithium battery is paramount to preventing a fire. Unusual heat, noise, smoke, odor, or swelling are all indications that the battery is failing.

Follow these tips to prevent a lithium battery fire from taking place.

  1. Buy batteries from reputable manufacturers.
  2. Never try to recharge non-rechargeable batteries.
  3. Once a charging cycle is complete, disconnect the battery from the charger.
  4. Use the charger that came with the battery or one approved as compatible by the manufacturer.
  5. Keep batteries away from extreme temperatures.
  6. Charge batteries in a fire-safe charging bag, if possible.
  7. Inspect batteries after they are first installed and periodically after recharging. If they appear damaged, do not recharge.
  8. Remove lithium-ion batteries from items before storage.

If a charging device emits excessive heat, unplug it from the power source and store it away from combustible objects until the device has cooled down. If necessary, replace the battery or call the fire department.

Choose Tex Tech for Lithium Battery Fire Safety

Lithium-ion batteries allow us many conveniences. To use these power supplies responsibly, we should be aware of how to prevent and put out lithium-ion battery fires. Though these events are rare, it is best to be prepared.

Tex Tech is a leading manufacturer of high-performance industrial textiles, including flame-retardant fabrics for high-temperature or fire applications. Contact us or request a quote to learn more about how our products and capabilities can serve you.

Why You Should Consider CoreFX as Your Trusted Firefighters’ Fabric

CoreFX is a cutting-edge, flame-retardant fabric solution for multilayer garments. It ensures advanced fire protection using a comfortable and lightweight material, helping firefighters stay safe and more agile on the job. Our advanced materials technology combines a 44% Kermel fiber with 55% para-aramid core and 1% antistatic material to drastically reduce the danger of fire and explosion hazards for those who need it most.

Properties and Performance of CoreFX Fire & Heat-Resistant Fabric

Firefighter

The Kermel fiber with para-aramid core withstands temperatures of up to 1000° C/1800° F, and in double flashover testing, the Kermel CoreFX equipment endured eight seconds without breaking open, leaving no third-degree burns.

This advanced, protective fire-retardant clothing meets or exceeds numerous technical industry design standards for protective firefighting equipment, including:

  • EN-ISO 11612 – Flexible flame and heat protection
  • EN 1149-5 – Electrostatic discharge prevention
  • EN 469 – Firefighting PPE standards
  • ISO 13934-1 – Tensile strength > 2400 N warp/weft
  • ISO 13937-2 – Tear strength > 270 warp/weft
  • ISO 12947-2 – Abrasion resistance, lasting more than 50,000 cycles

The Kermel CoreFX fabric is also incredibly comfortable, weighing less than 200 grams per square meter, allowing firefighters to move quickly with reduced fatigue.

Why You Should Consider CoreFX as Your Trusted Firefighters’ Fabric

An Economical Solution to Fire Fighting Service Needs

CoreFX solves numerous pain points left unaddressed by other brands, and all in a highly affordable, user-friendly solution. While most other brands have high-cost products that are uncomfortable for the wearer, CoreFX garments provide much more comfort with a lightweight design. As a result, firefighters can perform at peak levels while confident they are as protected as they are comfortable.

The CoreFX technology also provides excellent strength and mechanical resistance, as well as resistance to liquid chemicals (per EN-ISO 6530). It also withstands up to a minimum of 25 washes at 40°C.

Benefits of CoreFX

With its competitive price, CoreFX is the premium durable fabric the first responder community has been waiting for. We’ve further improved on the previous para-aramid fabrics to create enhanced UV-blocking properties to reduce degradation and provide a longer material lifespan. Garments worn in regions with longer exposure to UV will see the tear and tensile strength retained for longer with the unique fabric design of CoreFX.

There are also two different durable water-repellent (DWR) finishes available, including:

  • Panoguard – C6 multi-wash with high-repellency finish
  • Eco Guard – PFOA/PFOS-free, multi-wash with high-repellency finish

These benefits extend to other high-risk uses as well, such as flight coveralls for pilots and protective suits for soldiers. The result is a new line of protective fabrics that withstand more extreme conditions than any previous alternative.

Choose Tex Tech For Enhanced Protection

Tex Tech is a world leader in the development and production of ultra-high-performance textiles, designed to endure the most intense conditions. We are continually pushing the boundaries on protective fabric technology, and our advanced research and development processes have advanced the field of first-responder equipment numerous times. We’re proud to do so again with our CoreFX Kermel and para-aramid core fabrics.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact Tex Tech Industries or request a quote and one of our highly knowledgeable service technicians will promptly be in touch.