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A notice to racers from SFI regarding driver protective suits

Wednesday, 06 February 2013

It has been brought to the attention of the SFI Foundation that certain driver protective suits being manufactured and distributed into the marketplace present a unique and serious threat to the safety of the drivers.

These suits incorporate an outer layer of material that is neither flame nor heat resistant, and will melt at relatively low temperatures.

These suits are commonly identified by the nature of their graphics, which are achieved by a process called dye sublimation. Rather than using more traditional graphic methods such as patches attached to, or embroidery sewn into the suit, this process provides for complex and vivid graphics which are actually imbedded directly into the outer material layer.

Dye sublimation is currently being used on synthetic materials (e.g. Nylon, Cordura, and Polyester) that have little or no fire or heat resistant properties. Dye sublimated synthetic driver suits have been distributed for use in motorsport disciplines in which the sanctioning bodies have no minimum standards for driver protective clothing.

Currently there are no participants in the SFI Specification 3.2A programs using approved materials incorporating the dye sublimation process. Nylon Cordura, or Polyester driver suit layers or panels, with or without dye sublimation, are not certified or identified by the manufacturer as meeting SFI Spec 3.2A, or any other accepted industry wide standard.

Should technical inspectors or scrutineers observe a driver suit which incorporates the dye sublimation graphic process and / or Nylon, Cordura or Polyester panels or layers, the driver should be made aware of the potential danger of wearing such a suit in competition, and should be directed to contact the manufacturer immediately.

Please note that Racewear Manufacturing/Awesome Racewear has previously manufactured and sold dye-sublimated race suits that fully met SFI Spec 3.2A, and the certification of those suits remain valid.

Regards,

Mike Hurst

Technical Manager

SFI Foundation, Inc.

Last modified on Thursday, 23 May 2013
     
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