Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Safety, comfort, quality and standards ౼ We have put together answers to the questions we get asked the most about PROBAN®.
If you have a question that you can't find the answer to, please contact us.
PROBAN® fabrics and garments are processed in accordance with Solvay’s strict manufacturing processes and are rigorously tested for FR performance. We require our carefully selected licensees to provide fabric samples from every batch of their production. Solvay supplies all PROBAN® licensees with state-of-the-art PROBAN® technology, raw materials, specialized training, ongoing technical support and final certification ensuring fabrics adhere to various standards, in order to maintain the highest safety and quality standards for PROBAN® fabrics, garments and other finished products.
PROBAN® is the result of a quality-controlled, state-of-the-art technological process. The PROBAN® process uses Solvay's patented and licensed technology to form a special cross-linked polymer inside the cotton fibers. The process of PROBAN® polymer formation is irreversible: the polymer is completely insoluble and is embedded in the body of the fiber to form a cotton-PROBAN® composite material at the fabric stage.
Solvay has conducted multiple studies showing that PROBAN® flame resistant fabric and garments are safe and comfortable for end consumers. PROBAN® FR clothing doesn’t cause skin sensitization or skin irritation. PROBAN® fabrics and garments can be supported by the OEKO-TEX® 100 label and EU Ecolabel.
PROBAN® is durable for the lifetime of the garment as long as the garment manufacturer’s care instructions have been followed and the garment is properly maintained. If you look after your PPE, it will look after you.
PROBAN® FR clothing can be washed in a conventional washing machine. We recommend washing PROBAN® protective clothing at temperatures of up to 60°C. Heavily stained articles can be pre-soaked (up to two hours at room temperature) in an enzymatic-type detergent if desired. PROBAN® FR clothing can be ironed once washed and dried. Users should ensure these general guidelines are considered in conjunction with manufacturer care instructions supplied with the protective clothing.
Domestic detergents can be used to wash PROBAN® FR clothing. However, detergents containing bleach must be avoided. Consult the detergent manufacturer’s instructions to determine the quantity of detergent needed. Clothing should be washed in soft water, as this will provide the best cleaning results and prevent the accumulation of deposits that may affect the flame resistant performance.
The use of fabric conditioners should be avoided.
The use of hypochlorite-based household bleaches, including supermarket brands, must be avoided. Domestic bleaching of PROBAN® FR clothing can adversely affect the protective properties.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) defines inherent flame resistance as “flame resistance that is derived from the essential characteristics of the fiber or polymer.” PROBAN® polymer therefore fits this definition as it is permanently bound to the core of the cotton. We believe, however, that the use of inherent labelling can be misleading, thus our focus is on the protective properties of the fabric, its proven compliance with international standards and its years of safe use in real work environments.
Like any market leader with an established and proven brand for the safety industry, counterfeit PROBAN® FR clothing is available on the market. Genuine PROBAN® garments carry a Solvay PROBAN® label, which can only be issued following comprehensive testing in our quality control laboratory. If in doubt, please contact your garment supplier and ask for a copy of the Solvay test report.
Solvay runs a trusted network system. We have established core value chain partners across regions where inventories are held to service local needs and maintain a strong focus on key account management. With this network in place, users on the ground remain safe and employers avoid any compliance-related issues.
PROBAN® FR clothing can be used to protect against molten ferrous metals (i.e., iron, steel). For protection against aluminium splash, an aluminized suit must be used.
The lightest PROBAN® fabric that is NFPA 2112 compliant is 5.3 oz, is lightweight like a feather, and breathes like your everyday cotton shirt.