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Flame Retardant Clothing aboard ship.

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  • Flame Retardant Clothing aboard ship.

    Silly question, but I'm curious: Why are the white balaclava's worn by the gun crews? I recall seeing footage of the Royal Navy wearing them too in action.

  • #2
    Anti "flash" protection, isnt't it?
    "Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here...this is the War Room!"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pym View Post
      Silly question, but I'm curious: Why are the white balaclava's worn by the gun crews? I recall seeing footage of the Royal Navy wearing them too in action.
      Yes, Anti Flash. It is suppose to reduce the severity of burns caused by explosions etc. I have never seen them being worn by US Navy personnel. There is a danger of things exploding on ships. The confined quarters increases the intensity of the explosions and the Anti-flash gear is an attempt to possibly save a few lives should an explosion happen. Remember the 47 crewmwn who died when turret #2 exploded on the USS Iowa in 1989. It is unlikely it would have helped in this situation but it almost definately saved lives during the Falklands conflict.

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      • #4
        F-1 and other motorsport drivers wear them aswell under their helmets.
        "Attack your attic with a Steyr....as seen on the Late Late Show..."

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        • #5
          Sorry to contradict you Docman. The antiflash hear used the RN during the falklands war might have saved lives except for a major contributory factor.

          A couple of years prior to the conflict the RN had changed over from Cotton to polyester type materials in the making of working dress shirts. The Irish navy wa s about to follow suit until the conflict taught a very hard learned lesson.

          When the flash of an explosin occured the heat now melted the polyester shirts and lighter weight trousers to the wearer causing horrific burns..had they remained with the natural fibre uniforms of years previous this would not have been the case.

          Looking at photos or Royal naval working dress this type of uniform is recogniseable by its very light blue clour and shine appearance.

          Alos continued washing of antiflash gear weakens its flash resistant properties.
          Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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          • #6
            Originally posted by hptmurphy View Post
            Sorry to contradict you Docman. The antiflash hear used the RN during the falklands war might have saved lives except for a major contributory factor.

            A couple of years prior to the conflict the RN had changed over from Cotton to polyester type materials in the making of working dress shirts. The Irish navy wa s about to follow suit until the conflict taught a very hard learned lesson.

            When the flash of an explosin occured the heat now melted the polyester shirts and lighter weight trousers to the wearer causing horrific burns..had they remained with the natural fibre uniforms of years previous this would not have been the case.
            I was thinking particuliarly of the bombing of RFAs Sir Tristram and Sir Galahad where the Welsh Guards had not been wearing Flash protection and suffered horrendously as a consequence. Flash protection also didn't help in the Aluminium ships (HMS Sheffield was one) where burning aluminium emitted poisonous gasses which overcame many crewmen.

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            • #7
              Sorry about that..when I think ships I think sailors ...even the soldiers in this case were better off as there DPMs were made of cotton.

              Some of the injuries suffered by those wearing man made fibres were horific..and soon afterwards they RN reverted back to cotton made working dress.
              Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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              • #8
                Dryflo undergarments worn by US service personel in Iraq and Afghanistan was banned because of this. Their answere to dryflo was "underarmour". Medical personel had to cut into the muscle tissue to remove the fused synthetic fibre, destroying all chance of even a succesful skin graft over the area.

                Anyway - Fire onboard = bad, very bad
                "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Docman View Post
                  I was thinking particuliarly of the bombing of RFAs Sir Tristram and Sir Galahad where the Welsh Guards had not been wearing Flash protection and suffered horrendously as a consequence. Flash protection also didn't help in the Aluminium ships (HMS Sheffield was one) where burning aluminium emitted poisonous gasses which overcame many crewmen.
                  The real problem in the case of the Sirs in the Falklands was not the absence of anti flash gear, but the fact that there were troops being carried on the same ship, and on the same decks as Vehicles, fuel and ammunition.

                  Passengers don't wear anti flash. Crew do. Its not to protect you against fire, it protects you against the instantanious explosive flash of an exploding gas.


                  Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by concussion View Post
                    F-1 and other motorsport drivers wear them aswell under their helmets.
                    They wear Nomex. Its flame retardent. Not the same.


                    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                    • #11
                      most of the noxious fumes were caused by cabling burning etc..palstics and sythetic fibres...

                      sounds familar?

                      Unfortueneately technology in building ships got way ahead of hwo the would react when they were hit with missiles. all the tests in the world could not predict what would happen aboard ships like the sheffield and coventry....the Amazon class were a complete mystery as they had been built to contract prices and not to naval archietects specs..and as a result were a total unknown quantity when it came to a war type situation. Some of these even suffered cracking in the hulls in adverse weather conditions and were flogged off as cheaply as possibly to the nearest fool the brits could find. BTW they still continue to serve with pakistan..

                      The actaully feature in a book called the worlds worst warships.
                      Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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                      • #12
                        can anybody explain why the anti-flash hoods and gloves only are worn? and not a full protective suit?

                        if they are to protect against exploding gases surely the whole body should be afforded protection. cotton (or polyester) working dress will not protect against the temperatures involved in exploding or burning gases or against flames at the temperatures experienced during explosions.

                        as Goldie said about F1 drivers, etc. they were full flame retardand suits to give them all over body protection. personnel on ships can be exposed to the some dangers of flames or explosions so why not fully protect them aswell?
                        Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

                        And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                          They wear Nomex. Its flame retardent. Not the same.
                          From http://www.scitech.org.au/speed/techspecs.html

                          NOMEX® AND KEVLAR®
                          Blends of Nomex and Kevlar are used to make fireproof clothing. Kevlar is also used to make things like bullet proof vests and puncture resistant tyres. Nomex and Kevlar are both aramids, like nylon, and are formed into fibres.

                          They have high performance heat- and flame-resistant properties. Nomex is inherently flame-resistant, and won't melt, drip, burn or support combustion in air. When exposed to flame, the fibre swells and becomes thicker, forming a protective barrier between the heat source and the skin. This protective barrier stays supple until it cools, giving the wearer vital seconds of protection to escape.


                          More from Wikipedia...
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomex

                          So if it protects from flame, why is it not flash-protection?
                          "Attack your attic with a Steyr....as seen on the Late Late Show..."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by X-RayOne View Post
                            can anybody explain why the anti-flash hoods and gloves only are worn? and not a full protective suit?

                            if they are to protect against exploding gases surely the whole body should be afforded protection. cotton (or polyester) working dress will not protect against the temperatures involved in exploding or burning gases or against flames at the temperatures experienced during explosions.

                            as Goldie said about F1 drivers, etc. they were full flame retardand suits to give them all over body protection. personnel on ships can be exposed to the some dangers of flames or explosions so why not fully protect them aswell?
                            The working rig itself is flash proof to a certain degree. Its not for an inferno, just a sudden "flash" explosion.by covering hands and most of the head your getting as much skin covered as possible.Anything stronger and your ****ed anyway..

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                            • #15
                              Same way you wear welding gloves welding i suppose (well you should). Small hairs on hands / arms burn - Hair on yoour head etc will burn if exposed to flash. Repeated flash from say a heavy calibre weapon - you'd have an awful lot of baldies in the navy
                              "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"

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