Bel-Confect has received an order to develop and supply clothing based on TenCate Tecasafe® Plus - XL 9300 for employees of Borealis in Belgium. The order, which was acquired in 2013 and runs for five years, is for approximately 5,000 articles of clothing for some 700 employees at the three Borealis sites in that country.
Borealis produces pipes for the transport of water, gas, chemicals and oil; cable insulation; and plastics for dashboards, door skins, bumpers and ventilation applications. Furthermore plastic packaging is manufactured for medical products, food, bottles, crates, boxes, racks and pallets.
According to Christ Segers, business manager of Bel-Confect, this is the first time that Borealis has gone in for standardized flame-resistant clothing. Until recently the staff had simple cotton clothing that offered scant protection in the workplace. Initially the employees were somewhat skeptical regarding the new clothing, fearing a decline in wearer comfort. So not only did the new clothing have to satisfy all safety aspects relating to the business risks; comfort and sustainability ranked high on the wish list in the tender as well.
Washing tests and wearer trials
Extensive tests were carried out with various flame-resistant fabrics, and a wearer trial also took place during the production process. Industrial washing tests were conducted by the CWS-Boco laundry to see whether the clothing performed well in terms of shrinkage and colour fastness. The results revealed that TenCate Tecasafe® Plus
was the best in the field. Whereas clothing based on other materials quickly began to look shabby and shoddy after several cycles of industrial washing, the fabric from TenCate fully retained its appearance and comfort. What’s more, it emerged as the best option from a price point of view. Because of visibility at the location, demands were also set regarding colour: a part of the clothing had to be in high-visibility yellow. ‘And TenCate Tecasafe® Plus
fitted the bill perfectly.
TenCate was no stranger to Bel-Confect, a workwear manufacturer based in Dottignies (Dottenijs, Belgium). ‘We work together regularly,’ continues Christ Segers, ‘and our company is keen to make use of the wide range of TenCate materials for applications in such sectors as logistics, transport and construction, and metal, petrochemical and utility companies.’ Working in comfort CWS-Boco is going to wash the clothing of Borealis Belgium in its industrial laundry. The supply of the same clothing to the small production site Borealis Netherlands is currently in the start-up phase, and will be handled by a customer of Bel-Confect, ‘as our strategy is to work with a dealer network in the Netherlands’.
TenCate Tecasafe® Plus
XL 9300 offers multi-risk protection that cannot be washed out, colour fastness, wearer comfort, high tear and tensile strength, and excellent protection against flashover and electric arcs. ‘TenCate Protective Fabrics has thoroughly tested the inherently heat- and flame resistant TenCate Tecasafe® Plus
fabrics’, says end-use market manager Karin Klein Hesselink.
In contrast to other protective fabrics, TenCate Tecasafe® Plus
fabrics remain remarkably strong and colour-fast, even after intensive industrial washing.