Japanese manufacturer Teijin creates next-gen firefighting suit
By Rick Martin
October 13, 2010
Japanese manufacturer Teijin, in cooperation with firefighting apparel maker Akao Co. Ltd., has announced the development of new firefighting suit that reportedly sets new world standards in both protection from extreme heat and lightweight wearability. Made from TRIPROTECH aramid fibers, Teijin's new suit consists of multiple key layers with even more clever monikers to boot, like GBARRIERLIGHT, TECHWAVE, and TECHNORA. The technical details of the layers' composition are somewhat hairy, but the upshot is that Teijin's improved aramid fibers have resulted in a firefighting suit that weights only 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) and is 60 percent more effective in preventing burns than the company's prior lightweight suits.
There is an outer heat and flame-resistant double-weave layer, a corrugated insulating air layer, as well as an improved smoother weave on the inner layer. It all contributes to a suit that protects better, but is also easier for firefighters to put on in a hurry.
In densely populated urban areas of Japan, developments in firefighting technology will be especially welcome. Because buildings are so close to each other, it can often be difficult to fight fires from a distance without having to actually venture inside a building to put out the flames.
Teijin hopes that the suit will be a hot seller, aspiring to move more than 100 million yen (US$1.2 million) worth of the new suits in the first year. The company has future plans to venture into global markets as well.