If you’ve been reading our blog you know how excited we are about our Z-Flex® Silver fabrics. Before we introduced them to the marketplace, it wasn’t thought possible to create a material that is as radiant heat resistant, as durable and as comfortable as Z-Flex® Silver. But the fabric on its own is not the whole story. Rather, it’s the solutions that Z-Flex® Silver is a part of and how Newtex works to create those solutions. We’d like to walk you through one such example.
Right now there is a major issue on airplane flights with lithium-ion batteries catching on fire. These are the batteries found in laptops, and through a process called thermal runaway they can burst into flame.
Our task—given to us by industry experts—was to design a comprehensive solution to address all aspects of this problem. Those included the following:
- The fire had to be completely contained. Designing a cover to throw over top of the fire and let it burn itself out wouldn’t work, because the floor of the plane would still burn.
- Completely containing the fire causes pressure to build, leading to a small explosion. Therefore, whatever solution we constructed needed to be blast resistant.
We worked with a company called FB1200 to create a solution known as the Fire Bag. Each bag comes with a pair of Newtex fire resistant gloves. When a laptop catches on fire, it is picked up by someone wearing the gloves and thrown into the Fire Bag. The bag is promptly double sealed with FAA rated Velcro, an extremely aggressive high temperature Velcro. From there, the construction of the bag handles the rest. Made from a composite of three materials that include Z-Flex® Silver, it contains the fire, insulates it and provides reinforcement against the pressure build up.
We urge you not to think of Newtex as simply your materials provider, but as a partner to help you solve your toughest challenges.