Flame or fire resistance is defined by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) as, “The property of a material whereby flaming combustion is prevented, terminated, or inhibited following application of a flaming or non-flaming source of ignition, with or without the subsequent removal of the ignition source.” Accordingly, fire resistant cotton is essentially a type of fire resistant fabric.
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Fire resistant fabric, and in this case, fire resistant cotton, has several advantages as compared to the conventional cotton. These include better safety, improvement in a rescue situation, reduction in losses, and improved working area condition. As can be noted, most of these advantages are related to the professional field, and that is where fire resistant cotton is commonly used. In case of regular wear, fire resistant cotton has several disadvantages as against regular cotton wear. These include higher purchase and maintenance cost as well as lower comfort and fashion level of the fire resistant cotton.
The global fire resistant cotton market can be segmented along two lines: by type and by application.
In case of type of fire resistant cotton, the market can be classified into treatment, combination with cotton, and combination & treatment. Cotton, by itself, is a highly flammable material, and it needs to undergo considerable chemical treatment to become fire resistant. Another method of making cotton fire resistant is to combine it with other materials such as nomex and polyester. Finally, a combination of both i.e. treatment and other materials is also applied to make cotton fire resistant.
In case of application of fire resistant cotton, the market can be divided into firefighting uniforms, industrial protective clothing, furnishings, and others. Fire resistant cotton is a pre-requisite for firefighting uniforms. It is also used extensively in industrial protective clothing, especially to provide protection against different types of industrial fires such as flash fires, jet fires, pool fires, and bleve fires, to name a few.
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In the industrial segment, the chemical industry and the oil & gas industry are among the primary users of fire resistant cotton. Usage of fire resistant cotton for residential and commercial furnishings is comparatively new and gaining importance. Meanwhile, the others segment consists of usage of fire resistant cotton by the transport sector, law enforcement agencies, performance artists, etc.
The global fire resistant cotton market can be segmented by region, which includes North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific. The developed regions of North America and Europe extensively use fire resistant cotton for various applications, whereas the developing regions of Latin America, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific are expected to provide lucrative opportunities to the fire resistant cotton market during the forecast period.
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