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    Protective Clothing Development at New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd

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    Historically in the smelting industry, burns which result in serious injuries, with the potential to be fatal are caused from exposure to molten aluminium and molten bath electrolyte splash. Employees clothing is their final line of defence from these hazards.

    Results from laboratory and wearer tests showed that a lightweight ZIRPRO treated 100% wool fabric provided excellent protection from molten aluminium (750°C—900°C) and molten bath electrolyte (cryolite 1050°C) yet was lightweight and comfortable to wear, durable, and easy to launder.

    NZAS adopted clothing made from this fabric - sitewide as an alternative to traditionally worn borax treated cotton garments.

    The effectiveness of the new wool clothing is presently being evaluated along with the impact that this change, which affected all employees has had on the NZAS workforce.


    ZIRPRO, Borax treatment, flame retardant, wool clothing, metal explosions

    Author Information:

    Coughlan, JE
    Science graduate, Otago University,

    Committee/Subcommittee: F23.80

    DOI: 10.1520/STP19166S