Nomex is the brand name of an Aramid fiber chemical compound that is made by the Dupont Company. It is available both as a fiber and as a sheet product. Among its other properties, it is a highly fire resistant and flame retardant type of material. Because of its flame resistant properties and characteristics, Nomex is used to make a variety of work wear items. A person who is clad in a Nomex suit will often escape with only minor injuries even if they become engulfed in flames.
The compound, which was first discovered in the 1970s, is used in a number of applications such as creating flame retardant work clothes and work uniforms for people such as: firefighters, oil rig personnel, and auto racers, etc. Nomex is also used in machinery as industrial filters and in sensitive circuits because of its insulation excellent properties. Nomex is often used for electrical insulation in both paper and pressboard forms, where its inherent dielectric strength, mechanical toughness and thermal stability are able to provide high reliability in even the most demanding applications.
Because Nomex is such a valuable commodity it is often used in many other types of sectors such as industrial, automotive, public facilities, consumer applications, transportation, and electrical applications. Nomex components are often found in microwave ovens, batteries, portable telephones, computers, photocopiers, laser printers, aircraft parts, helicopter blades, stereo speakers, disposable cookware, snow skis, cooking pots, heat shields, insulation shields, heat pads, compressor blades, air conditioning units, security paper, and boats.
Fabrics that are made out of pure Nomex or out of a blend of Nomex and Kevlar are designed not to burn even when they are exposed to flash flames. However, contaminants such as oil and pieces of foreign cloth, etc. will burn and will increase the heat transfer to the parent Nomex fabric. Over the years there have been many incidents of racing personnel being pulled out from burning wreckages and walking away safely because they were wearing clothing that was made out of Nomex. This valuable material is used in Level A and Level B class fires.