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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Racing Suit Materials

Continuing our series on providing some simplified racing suit information.

Auto Racing Suits, Race Suits or Firesuits are typically constructed from 1 of 2 types of materials, fire resistant cotton or nomex®.

Fire resistant cotton (FRC) is a treated fabric. There are 3 brands of FRC that most manufacturers use, Proban®, Pyrovatex® and Banox®. The advantages of purchasing an FRC race suit are first and foremost, pricing. Race suits made from FRC's can easily be half the price compared to nomex® race suits. Secondly, since the fiber is a treated cotton, FRC race suits have greater ability to wick away moisture. The disadvantages of an FRC race suit is a slightly heavier weight and the FRC suit can gradually lose it's protective properties with repeated laundering.
As long as the FRC race suit has an SFI patch and certification, it will provide equivalent, or in some cases, more protection from heat and flame as a nomex® race suit.
Most single layer race suits are of FRC materials, starting at around $90. Single layer nomex® suits can be 3 or 4 times the cost.
Multi-layer race suits of FRC materials, can be a great economical choice with increased protection, starting at $265.00.

Nomex® race suits are usually constructed with multiple layers. The lighter weight of the nomex® fiber, makes it a good choice for multi-layer race suits.
Nomex® is a man-made fiber that will retain it's fire resistant properties throughout the useful lifespan of the race suit, which means, consider replacing when noticeable wear, tears or contact with flammable fluids occurs.
Most professional race car drivers and many amateur or semi-pro drivers prefer a nomex® race suit.
There are "budget friendly", nomex® race suits available at $399.00. Custom cut and designed nomex® race suits can cost a few thousand dollars.


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