Motor Racing is extremely hazardous! INJURY, DEATH, OR WORSE WILL OCCUR! The articles sold by RaceQuip on this website and in our catalog are sold without warranty, expressed or implied. No representation is made that these products will protect the user from death or injury. The user of these products assumes all risk involved with their use and agrees to hold the manufacturer harmless. If an SFI tag is affixed to an item, that product is made to specifications set forth by The SFI Foundation, Inc. and has been approved by, and certified by them. All gear should be inspected prior to use and replaced if product shows signs of wear or presence of other factors that could compromise integrity.
Suit Care - We highly recommend dry cleaning of all suits regardless of composition. Initial dry cleaning will help set the color pigment and ongoing dry cleaning maintenance will help prevent color fading. Always specify dry cleaning with Perchloroethylene. We do not recommend home laundering of Nomex® racing suits. FRC suits may be home laundered using gentle cycle, cold water and mild detergent. Never use bleach or a detergent with bleach on any suit. Never use heat to dry a racing suit - only use cool cycle or line dry.
SFI Specifications - The SFI Foundation, Inc. (SFI) is a non-profit organization established to issue and administer standards for specialty/performance automotive and racing equipment. Manufacturers of equipment are the primary users of SFI standards. Many of the standards are adopted as part of the rules of race sanctioning organizations. Ultimately, the racer benefits from the program as it establishes recognized levels of performance and quality for a particular product. SFI performs scientific testing on all products which fall under one of their specifications. Some items that carry SFI certification are driver's suits, gloves, shoes, helmet supports, belts, and window nets.
The SFI specification for driver's suits is 3.2A. This classification rates the length of time the selected suit offers protection from second degree burns in an approximation of a raging gasoline fire between 1,800 and 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. The SFI ratings are calculated in calories per unit area per time of exposure. The test performed by SFI on suits determines the Thermal Protection Performance (TPP) of the garment. The TPP rating measures the length of time the person wearing the garment can be exposed to a heat source (direct flame or radiant heat) before incurring a second degree (skin blistering) burn. To calculate the protection time of a particular suit, simply divide the TPP number by two to establish the approximate protection time in seconds. As shown in the chart, there are several SFI ratings for driver's suits with different TPP ratings. The higher the SFI rating, the more protection the suit will provide.
Once a manufacturer has committed to participating in an SFI program, it must comply with the specifications in all respects. The manufacturer provides the racer with product that is in compliance with the specifications enforced by the sanctioning body. When adopted as part of the rules of a race sanctioning body, enforcement is entirely up to that organization. Check the rules for your sanction and/or class to be sure that you are purchasing a product that will meet the necessary requirements. We highly recommend purchasing items that carry the highest SFI ratings available - even if your rules do not require that level of protection.
Snell Specifications - As a memorial to William "Pete" Snell who was killed in an auto racing accident , a group of scientists, physicians, racing colleagues and friends teamed together in a dedicated effort to promote research, education, testing and development of standards geared to improve the effectiveness of automotive racing helmets. Through their work, the Snell Memorial Foundation was established in 1957.
Helmets meeting Snell Standards provide the highest level of protection available. Snell Standards significantly surpass those set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission's 16 CFR Part 1203.
In order to continuously monitor the quality of helmets being sold to the public, Snell purchases and tests samples of currently certified helmets from the marketplace. These helmets are tested only in Snell labs by Snell technicians. Helmets that meet Snell Standards carry a tamper-proof foil label stuck to the liner on the inside of the helmet.
SA-2010 is the current helmet standard for competitive automotive sports. This standard includes tests for impact, penetration by projectiles, chemical resistance, fire resistance, and ease of removal.
M-2010 is the current helmet standard for use in motorcycling. Many auto racing sanctions and tracks allow the use of M rated helmets by their competitors, but keep in mind that M rated helmets are not designed for the rigors of auto racing and do not posses the impact and fire retardant properties of an SA rated helmet. We highly recommend the use of SA rated helmets for auto racing even if an M helmet is legal in your sanction or class.
Fabric Considerations - There are two classifications of fabrics used in the manufacture of auto racing driver's gear - Fire Retardant Cotton (FRC) and aramid. FRC is a cotton based product that has been treated at the molecular level with a chemical agent that makes it fire retardant, while an aramid is a man-made product that has fire retardancy engineered into the fibers. Either option is capable of providing the same level of protection in a fire. The difference lies in the weight of the material and the number of layers necessary to achieve the desired specification. Also note that multi-layer suits will usually achieve a higher TPP than the sum of their layers since trapped air also acts as an insulator.
FRC - The advantages of FRC are that it is far less expensive to produce than an aramid plus it tends to breathe as a fabric and will wick away moisture. In a fire, FRC will not shrink or melt. Banox® Pyrovatex®and Proban®are all examples of FRC materials.
Pyrovatex® was developed in the 1960's as a durable flame retardant for cellulosic (cotton) fibers. Pyrovatex® offers the maximum combination of overall flame and heat protection, durability, and comfort for the price. This FRC material retains the softness and breathability of cotton and will wick away moisture from the skin. Pyrovatex® fabric is gentle and non-irritating to even the most sensitive skin. The treatment process leaves the exterior surface "shiny" and supple. Since the Pyrovatex® treatment is bonded to the cotton fibers at the molecular level, with proper care; the garment will retain its flame retardant properties beyond the useful life of the garment. Aramids - An aramid fabric is a man-made substance. Nomex® and Kevlar® are examples of aramid fabrics used in racing suits. Aramid fabrics are much more expensive to produce than FRC, and they are sometimes known to shrink and/or melt when exposed to flame. Nomex® is an aramid fabric produced by Dupont™ that is inherently flame-resistant, which means its resistance to flame is built into the fiber. It also will not sustain combustion in air when exposed to flame. Because Nomex® carbonizes and becomes thicker when exposed to intense heat, it forms a protective barrier between the heat source and the skin. This unique reaction to intense heat provides valuable escape time when flash fires occur and protects wearers against them. A suit made of Nomex® will tend to be lighter than a comparable FRC suit because it offers greater protection per ounce. Nomex® is also more durable and color fast than FRC. Nomex® IIIA represents the combination of three fibers. The fabric is a 93/5/2 blend of Nomex® , Kevlar® and P140 fibers. P140 is a static dissipative fiber.
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