KZPT, a producer of special helmet based in Poland, has chosen the transparent and heat-resistant polycarbonate (PC) Apec FR 1892 from Bayer MaterialScience for the visors of its fire helmets.
“We investigated the suitability of a whole series of plastics for this application,” says Wlodzimierz Chlebowski, Technical Director at KZPT, “but only the product from Bayer MaterialScience offers the high level of fire protection and flame retardance required by international standards together with the necessary mechanical strength.”
As introduced, Apec FR 1892 includes a flame retardant (FR stands for flame retardant) with good heat resistance. It satisfies the European standard EN 443:2008, among others, which specifies particularly stringent requirements for the protective function of fire helmets. This standard stipulates that the visor must keep flames, heat and sparks away from the wearer’s face.
“Apec is highly shatter resistant and thermally stable, which is also an important prerequisite for use in protective helmets,” explains Matthias Rothe, who is responsible at Bayer MaterialScience for market development for PC consumer goods. “The firefighter’s face is thus provided with the best possible protection against flying debris.”
Premium helmets, such as the KZPT Calisia Vulcan, are even equipped with two visors made of Apec FR 1892 to provide greater protection. The outer visor is coated with vaporized metal and reflects the heat more strongly than the simple variant.
Bayer adds that the material’s good flow properties also allow for efficient processing. The finished visor features a smooth, glossy surface.KZPT uses the injection molding process at its site in Kalisz, Poland, to produce visors used primarily by firefighters in eastern European countries and the Middle East.