A NEW polycarbonate is being used in the production of fire helmet visors across Europe and the Middle East.
KZPT, a fire helmet manufacturer, is using Bayer MaterialScience’s Apec FR 1892 for the visors of its helmets.
It is claimed the polycarbonate protects firefighters’ faces and eyes against flames, heat and flying debris.
The visors, produced through an injection moulding process at KZPT’s site in Kalisz, Poland, meet European standards for the protective function of fire helmets
"We investigated the suitability of a whole series of plastics for this application," said Wlodzimierz Chlebowski, technical director at KZPT. "But only the product from Bayer MaterialScience offers the high level of fire protection and flame retardance required by international standards together with the necessary mechanical strength."
"Apec is highly shatter resistant and thermally stable, which is also an important prerequisite for use in protective helmets," stated Matthias Rothe of Bayer MaterialScience. "The firefighter’s face is thus provided with the best possible protection against flying debris."
Premium helmets, such as the KZPT Calisia Vulcan, are equipped with two visors made of Apec FR 1892 and thus are said to provide even greater protection. The outer visor is coated with vaporized metal and reflects the heat more strongly than the simple variant.