Research & development
Sioen’s major strength is innovation, and we spare no effort in finding new solutions to protect our end users. Today, the Sioen group has over 200 dedicated personnel tirelessly working in our R&D department. They develop new products or processes in collaboration with Siotec. Thanks to our in-house testing laboratory reserved to firefighting garments, we can efficiently test our products and adapt them to the ever evolving challenges firemen face today.
Our R&D department
Every day, our 220-headed R&D department develops new materials, new methods, new processes and new applications. Our strength is the knowledge we can offer, our state-of-the-art equipment and our vast expertise in the field of standards and regulations.
At each of our production sites, there are specialists working in their own field. That means that we have researchers and developers at all levels of our group, from yarn, through weaving to the production of our garments.
We design special assemblies that provide the thermal protection, breathability and mechanical resistance firefighters need while keeping in mind the importance of the suit's lightness. With our innovative approach, we set the standard in the protection of firefighters.
In-house testing lab
To provide you with the right protection, we comply to very high standards in our in-house R&D testing labs. Thanks to innovation and strong customer focus, we can offer you superior technical quality across our entire product range. Our main objective is to find the right solutions to the specific problems identified in your risk assessment.
The scale of the state-of-the-art tools and equipment in our laboratories is unique in Europe, as Sioen is the only manufacturer of firefighters’ clothing with such a vast knowledge centre. Thanks to the right equipment and technical know-how, we have a clear overview of the full development of your projects.
Our laboratory has three objectives:
Firstly, they focus on creating new assemblies, finding the adequate solutions to the challenges firemen face today. That search depends, among others, on the norms the fire suit has to comply with and the specifications that were required in the tender.
Secondly, we also use the lab to test all fabrics that are supplied by our partners. We do that to make sure that those fabrics fulfil all requirements. For example, the exact colour has to be delivered and the product’s quality is tested. If an irregularity is found, the fabric is sent back to the supplier. When a customer would like to use a new fabric from one of our suppliers, we can first test it and provide more information about its properties. That means that you can be entirely sure that your suit will be made with safe and qualitative fabrics.
Thirdly, after manufacturing the garment, the product is sent back to Mouscron to perform a quality control on the firefighter suit and all its details. At this stage, the fabric is not tested, as it was tested in an earlier stage. There is a certain number of suits we are obliged to test, but for your peace of mind, we test a much higher quantity.
How you benefit from our own in-house lab:
- Shorter development periods ;
- A guarantee that our products comply with current standards ;
- The flexibility to adapt our products to any need.
Your firefighter garments are made of different assemblies, created by Siotec, our in-house design and engineering team, and our own R&D department.
Made to last longer
Your firefighter suit will face major fires, protect you against harmful substances and will keep you clearly visible. Your garments comply with and even exceed the standards.
Anticipating hazardous scenarios and frequent washes that the suit will endure is key to creating a long lasting product. We make sure that the suit meets the highest standards, and take all measures to extend the life of the garment, safety and durability go hand in hand.
Testing towards better results
Having our own in-house laboratory allows us to study and test all of our products to make sure that they meet your requirements and that they comply with the standards.
In our lab we can perform the following tests:
- Limited flame spread
- Heat transmission after exposure to a flame
- Exposure to radiant heat
- Tensile strength of outer fabrics after exposure to a radiant heat
- Thermal resistance of every material at 180°C
- Tensile strength
- Tear Strength
- Spray test
- Dimensional change
- Resistance to penetration by liquid chemicals
- Water vapour resistance
- Water penetration resistance
Do you want to learn more about our assemblies?
Our R&D department puts a lot of effort in creating new assemblies and in choosing the right solution for your personalised firefighter garments. Learn more about our trusted solutions, used worldwide.