Ascend Performance Materials Case Study

In 2008, GlenGuard initiated a Case Study with Ascend Performance Materials to showcase the comfort and protection inherent in GlenGuard products. During the study, employees wore both our 4.5 oz. and 6.4 oz. FR fabrics. The results from the study confirmed GlenGuard's promise of comfort, protection, and quality.

Background

Ascend Performance Materials produces chemicals, polymers and fibers at five manufacturing locations in the southeastern United States. Their products are found in thousands of commercial and industrial products, including carpet, tires and apparel. Most employees work with flammable materials every day, and the staff comprises a large maintenance department that handles electrical and instrumentation mechanics.

Challenge

Safety is the most important aspect of Ascend's work. The company invests considerable effort in ensuring a safe work environment; however, remote combustible chemicals present the potential for flash fires. A new FR Safety Program was about to be initiated, and a small percentage of Ascend employees already wore FR Cotton, but most others did not wear any uniform.

"The biggest challenge was the culture shift," says Janet Noble, industrial hygiene team lead. Keeping employees cool and comfortable is also a concern."

Headquartered in Texas with satellite locations in Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, workers are constantly faced with some of the harshest weather conditions both indoors and out.

"Most employees work in open air, inside non-air-conditioned buildings, or even to the extreme of very hot buildings," says Janet. "Our most important factors were cost, comfort and wearability."

Solution

Ascend engaged a two-fold solution. For employees who currently wore FR cotton/nylon, Ascend selected 4.5 oz. GlenGuard® FR. By choosing this product, employees realized better FR protection in a garment that weighs 39% less than what they were previously wearing. Secondly, employees who were currently not wearing any FR gear needed to be outfitted in the most comfortable FR protection available in order to enhance their safety. "We looked at a number of different companies. We looked at weight of the fabric, and we took into account how it would look and hold up," says Janet. Only 4.5 oz. GlenGuard FR offered the lightest weight material for the protection they required.

When it comes to ultimate safety, Ascend knows firsthand GlenGuard FR has a quality combination of protective materials. Ascend manufactures the No-Shock® anti-stat fiber that is woven into the workwear. The blended fabric also incorporates Kermel® fibers and is solution dyed for long-lasting wearability. It's this cutting-edge technology and high quality fabric that has kept GlenGuard FR at the forefront of industry standards since 2004.

Results

Ascend has more than 3,000 employees, visitors and resident contractors across five locations outfitted in GlenGuard FR. "It's more comfortable than other FR garments we've tried. When it comes to wearability, they're holding up well. It has great protection factors and has really done what we've asked of it. If we had to make the decision again today, we'd still go with GlenGuard," says Janet.

Running Man

When it comes to the comfort of GlenGuard, we are willing to put our word to the test. To further illustrate GlenGuard's unparalleled comfort, a Glen Raven employee completed a 100k run while donning a garment made from GlenGuard fabric.

Background

On Saturday, January 18th, 2014 Jim Burton, Controller for Glen Raven Technical Fabrics, completed a 100k Endurance Run in Weymouth Woods—a run he began training for five months prior to the event.

Challenge

To complete a 100k while staying comfortable and cool in order to perform to the best of his ability.

Solution

Training is obviously a key aspect to doing well in any athletic event, however, in order to stay comfortable and cool during a 100k, Burton’s solution was to wear a shirt made of GlenGuard. Because GlenGuard uses Wickzz technology to dissipate moisture, he was able to stay cooler for longer.

Results

Burton (51) finished 12th out of 76 participants in the 100k.

“It felt really good. It was light weight and for the weight that it was, it offered great protection to the external elements- wind, rain, cold, etc.- didn’t have to bundle up in layers which was nice because I was still able to move freely without restriction,” Jim said regarding what it was like running in a GlenGuard FR shirt.