Local specialised protective-clothing manufacturer Charnaud introduced its new Aci-Flam and Metal-Safe ranges of protective clothing to industry last month.
Charnaud supplies products and specialised footwear to industries dealing with, for example, hot-metal smelting, firefighting, shaft sinking, electrical safety and mining.
Metal-Safe personal protective clothing (PPC) garments are made from a blend of Lenzing FR, as well as high-strength synthetic and other fibres. The garment is a first for protection of workers in the hot “red metals” industry.
“Owing to a unique design that features this blend of antistatic high-strength fibres, the Metal-Safe range provides enhanced protection for workers undertaking welding and metal foundry tasks – even after exposure to severe flames or heat,” says Charnaud founder and chairperson Andrew Charnaud.
The garments also features enhanced moisture-absorption capacity, drying speed and air permeability, compared with other materials, Charnaud sales representative Ria Louw points out.
“This prevents heat stress, which results in higher physiological performance. Further, the high durability of the fabric results in an extended life cycle and lower overhead costs for the user,” she says.
The Metal-Safe range, which is available in one- and two-piece coverall options, is water-washable and durable for washing in industrial laundries.
The Aci-Flam PPC range protects wearers from heat and flame hazards, as well as acid splash hazards, Charnaud MD and FD Colin Meyer says.
The Aci-Flam garments can be worn by emergency services personnel and by workers at mining, petrochemical and industrial plants. The garments have been trialled successfully in the local mining, minerals processing and petrochemical industry.
Since its introduction to the market last month, the company has also received several orders for Aci-Flam garments for the next 18 months.
A key feature of Aci-Flam fabric includes its resistance to 98% concentrated sulphuric acid, Meyer highlights, adding that there were no holes on the garments after exposure and washing.
In addition, the Aci-Flam fabric is cost effective, as the wearing of multiple sets of protective clothing is eliminated. It is also significantly more lightweight, compared with other available fabrics, Louw adds.
Charnaud believes there is considerable potential for future growth, as increasingly stringent safety legislation in more developed industries, such as that in South Africa and Europe, will prompt an increase in demand for the most effective PPC for workers.
“The burgeoning African market also holds significant potential for growth as investment in new projects continues, while safety becomes a more prioritised focal point,” he says.
In light of this, the company is expanding its factory capacity and floor size in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, which Charnaud expects to be completed next month.
The company has a geographical footprint in more than 30 countries across five continents, with exports contributing an increasing part of turnover.