Z-Flex Silver Proximity Shell

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 (Indianapolis, Indiana) — For Immediate Release

Z-Flex® Silver™ – A Revolutionary Outer Shell System for the Next Generation of Proximity Gear

Firefighting has always been tough. And today, technology designed to make our everyday lives easier is now making firefighting more difficult. Nowhere is this more evident than in Airport Crash and Rescue, Petrochemical and HAZMAT emergencies. Fires are burning hotter, longer and can give off heat in excess of 3000ºF. These extreme conditions require more in Personal Protective Equipment—more than structural turnout gear, more in fact than traditional aluminized proximity gear.

These challenges and others like these require Z-Flex® Silver™—a revolutionary new multilayer aluminized fabric system from Newtex Industries, Inc. Z-Flex Silver is the most advanced aluminized outer shell system ever developed which combines Z-Flex Multilayer Aluminization (MLA™) technology with a proprietary 3D Mock Knit™ fabric featuring PBI flame resistant fibers. This integrated outer shell system offers superior protection and performance for the next generation of Aluminized PPE. Z-Flex Silver is an innovative 5-layer outer shell composite that has been completely engineered to provide durable, comfortable and superior protection from high energy, radiant heat. By reflecting back the heat, Z-Flex Silver allows close flame proximity while reducing the rate of heat absorption that can lead to thermal fatigue.

"Fires involving volatile liquids, chemicals, and gases are about more than putting the wet stuff on the red stuff. These situations involve tremendous amounts of flammable liquids that produce large amounts of radiant heat, subjecting firefighters to conditions that can cause serious injury in a short period of time," said Doug Bailey, President, Newtex Industries, Inc.

Until now conventional aluminized fabrics, incorporated decades-old technology that failed to provide the enhanced protection and durability to withstand extreme radiant heat. Bailey went on to say, "We heard from leading garment manufacturers, their customers and firefighting professionals that a new generation of aluminized protection was necessary."

So Newtex took on the challenge, and after nearly a decade of development, field testing and working with some of the most experienced first responders and leading universities, scientists and global partners— Z-Flex Silver was born. 

The innovative Z-Flex Silver fabric starts with the revolutionary Z-Flex Multilayer Aluminization ("MLA") process. The Z-Flex MLA process employs sophisticated thin film vapor deposition technology to apply very fine, highly reflective aluminum particles to both sides of a high temperature polymer film barrier. Z-Flex® films are designed to reflect up to 95% of radiant heat, with zero flame or afterglow even when exposed to direct flame. Z-Flex films outperform competitive films by as much as 50% when exposed to radiant heat sources up to 3000°F/1649°C.

The resulting Z-Flex film is then chemically and mechanically bonded to a patented 3D Mock Knit fabric utilizing the latest advancements in bonding technology. This exclusive three dimensional (3D) Mock-Knit fabric is woven with high performance PBI fibers and reinforced with filament Para-Aramid for unrivaled protection and strength. The 3D Mock Knit technology mimics a traditional knit fabric to deliver comfort, but provides a flexible woven substrate that enhances the match between the Z-Flex reflective layer and the rest of the composite system. This unique 3D Mock-Knit is significantly stronger, lighter, more flexible, and more supple than traditional high performance knit fabrics. The result is Z-Flex Silver —a purpose-built fabric that delivers outstanding reflectivity, maximum durability, and a superior flex-bond for extreme fire fighting applications.

The Z-Flex Silver combines three of the most advanced film, fabric, and fiber technologies available (Z-Flex MLA + 3D Mock-Knit+ PBI Fibers). It is today's best choice for Proximity Fire Fighting PPE outer shells. Proximity Gear engineered with Z-Flex Silver allows greater freedom of movement and dexterity, enabling the wearer to function more effectively on the mission at hand. And, because Z-Flex Silver is lighter, firefighters and first responders may experience less fatigue and fewer incidences of heat stress.

Z-Flex® Silver™ by Newtex Industries meets or exceeds all current UL certifications, including NFPA 1971 and OSHA requirements. The revolutionary Z-Flex Silver fabric system is available from leading fire service and industrial garment manufacturers worldwide.

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Sarah Gulack, Marketing Manager


About Newtex

For nearly 40 years, Newtex has been a pioneer and leading global producer of high temperature materials and engineered solutions for thermal management and fire protection. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Newtex is an ISO 9001:2015 certified, vertically integrated manufacturer of an impressive portfolio of textiles and fabricated systems for insulation and fire containment. Globally recognized textile brands include ZetexPlus®, Z-Flex®, and Z-Block™. Newtex is a minority owned, veteran-managed business that has served the US Military and leading global industries since 1978. Newtex products are proudly made in the USA.