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Discussion Starter #1
Is anyone wearing Carbon-X socks, balaclava, etc?

Any input on Carbon-X vs Nomex would be greatly appreciated. As far as I can glean from the 'net, not much difference :shrug: except price.
 

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i'm using a nomex balaclava called 2bkool.

it's serving two puposes for me. one, it absorbs sweat and keeps some of it from soaking the helmet padding. and two, if you throw it in a cooler on ice, it retains some of the cold for a few minutes which is nice when you're waiting on the grid to head out. i've got a couple of them and just switch 'em out during the afternoon sessions.

i agree that there are numerous options with little hard data to differentiate. narrow it down a bit... what's your primary goal? fire protection. comfort. cooling. price. etc....
 

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CarbonX is signifcantly better than Nomex - but bear in mind that protection is measured in seconds only.
Both materials are fire retardent not fireproof.

I could give you the figures if you're interested.

Basically - Nomex carbonises when exposed to flame - becomes black and brittle but doesn't (immediately) disintegrate.
CarbonX is made from material that has already carbonised - so there is less physical change when exposed to fire.

CarbonX is better against the skin and doesn't get smelly as quick.

Carbon is expensive - which is why CarbonX is.
Also CarbonX has a much smaller potential market because it is only possible to produce it in a limited range of very dark colours.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Primary goal is not looking like a boy scout campfire roasted marshmallow should flames occur.

But at the same time I don't want to get super toasty from a non-breathable/wicking/etc material and have the sweat boil on my skin should flames occur.
 

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ah yes, mr UKP checks in... thankfully. i believe he may know something about this topic. ;) :bow:

so where does carmyth fit into the family of fabrics? i know it's thick, expensive and a bit itchy to my skin.
 

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Primary goal is not looking like a boy scout campfire roasted marshmallow should flames occur.
Then learn to run fast.

There isn't a single material available commercially today that when - as a single layer -is subjected to intense flame can protect you for as much as four seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Phil. This will be layers. It appears that if the Carbon-X is significantly better than the Nomex, it would be, IMO, worth the extra cost. It is always cheaper to buy the best safety equipment than to have skin grafts/etc. The more seconds that I can add to my escape time the better.
 

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OK - some of you aren't going to like this but...

IF your car bursts into flames quicker than you can get out then multillayer FR clothing (and remember - balaclavas rarely come a multilayer items) will give you a few seconds before you die from the burns (you will still get burnt). The chances of that happening at, say, a track day are as close to zero as makes no difference.

Wearing FR clothing at a track day is the same as wearing a crash helmet when walking down the street in case someone drops something on you from a tall building.

It does. however, help with the racing driver fantasy.

The best thing about wearing FR fancy dress is that it does mean you're not wearing nylon - that would be bad - it melts....
 

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...The chances of that happening at, say, a track day are as close to zero as makes no difference.
How about just for a balaclava to keep my helmet from getting nasty? Is there much difference in comfort between the different materials? I also would prefer not to have something that I can throw in the washing machine at the end of the day.
 

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Wearing FR clothing at a track day is the same as wearing a crash helmet when walking down the street in case someone drops something on you from a tall building.

It does. however, help with the racing driver fantasy.

The best thing about wearing FR fancy dress is that it does mean you're not wearing nylon - that would be bad - it melts....
when i was tracking my Elise there was a car next to me in the pits that was being worked on, when it just burst into flames.
the guys working under the hood scattered, but someone had the wits to get an extinguisher and put it out.
i saw it and thought, i have an extinguisher, tucked away in my trailer somewhere......... big help i was, the extinguisher is now in a holder right next to the door of the trailer ready to go.
i disagree about the odss that phil states, as mechanical things can go wrong, and mixing sparks, and fule has potential for fire.
I would rather be prepared than play the odds.
Rdad, I chose the carbonX, it does seem to offer more protection than nomex.
mine that i use is from underX, but i dont see it for sale on saferacer.com anymore. if i were to replace it i would choose this one from oakley
http://www.saferacer.com/oakley-carbon-x-single-eye-balaclava.html?productid=472
or the caramyth from sparco, but ace10 says its itchy(which i didnt know), so i might steer clear of that .

Ace10, just how itchy was the caramyth?

it does sound from the write up that its the best stuff out there, and have consider throwing down the cash for one.
http://www.saferacer.com/sparco-open-formula-carmyth-hood.html?productid=728

I would stay away from the g-force products for this. i have seen their suits, and they look and felt really wimpy.

on a side note at the hsr west event in phoenix, some guy in a sweet Lola
T-212 just burst into flames and cooked his car for about 2 minutes. he got out, and was OK, but dont kid yourself fire does/can happen.
i have seen it twice now.
I also saw pictures of patricos' elise which burnt to the ground and looked like a plastic blob when it was done.............

Fishguy
 

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Then learn to run fast.

There isn't a single material available commercially today that when - as a single layer -is subjected to intense flame can protect you for as much as four seconds.
Run faster!
rotfl

Sure there is... it's just not at all practical for a clothing application.
;)

Most people are amazed at what a simple can of foam shaving cream will protect them from.
:D
 

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and i still want to know about carmyth.
I'd have to stick some on the TPP tester to check for performance but on the limited info available on the Sparco site - it's virtually the same as Nomex III - there will be a slight difference in performance and the rest is marketing (since testing it means destroying it - most people will take the marketing department's word for it).

"Nomex" is a Dupont trade name for an aramid fiber.
"Kevlar" is also a Dupont trade name for a very similar fiber (as Bill Bryson once said - they were going through their "Star Trek" phase at the naming department).

"Nomex III" is just "Nomex" with a bit of "Kevlar" mixed in.
"Carmyth" APPEARS to be just the same - but maybe blended in different proportions.
 

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when i was tracking my Elise there was a car next to me in the pits that was being worked on, when it just burst into flames.
the guys working under the hood scattered, but someone had the wits to get an extinguisher and put it out.
i saw it and thought, i have an extinguisher, tucked away in my trailer somewhere......... big help i was, the extinguisher is now in a holder right next to the door of the trailer ready to go.
i disagree about the odss that phil states, as mechanical things can go wrong, and mixing sparks, and fule has potential for fire.
I would rather be prepared than play the odds.

on a side note at the hsr west event in phoenix, some guy in a sweet Lola
T-212 just burst into flames and cooked his car for about 2 minutes. he got out, and was OK, but dont kid yourself fire does/can happen.
i have seen it twice now.
I also saw pictures of patricos' elise which burnt to the ground and looked like a plastic blob when it was done.............

Fishguy

I tried to choose my words carefully.

I didn't say that cars never burst into flame.
I didn't say nobody was ever trapped in a burning car.

I am saying that the chance of being trapped in a burning car at a track day are infinitessimal.

And by trapped - I mean trapped for up to 12 seconds - after that you're in big trouble either way.
 

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I have both Nomex and Carbon-Ex shirts and balaclavas. I bought the second set in Carbon-Ex for the reasons stated above. I have not yet been on the track with the Carbon-Ex stuff. FWIW, I wear a balaclava all the time (including karting) to protect the inside of my helmet. The inner lining will wear out much quicker if you don't wear one.
 

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How about just for a balaclava to keep my helmet from getting nasty? Is there much difference in comfort between the different materials? I also would prefer not to have something that I can throw in the washing machine at the end of the day.
I have both Nomex and Carbon-Ex shirts and balaclavas. I bought the second set in Carbon-Ex for the reasons stated above. I have not yet been on the track with the Carbon-Ex stuff. FWIW, I wear a balaclava all the time (including karting) to protect the inside of my helmet. The inner lining will wear out much quicker if you don't wear one.

Sorry Tandemracer - I didn't answer your question earlier because I didn't want too many consecutive posts.

A helmet liner/balaclava is sensible for comfort reasons - it's just not really necessary for safety reasons. So choose the most comfortable material - which may not be the most FR.

EDIT: FR fabrics are less comfortable per se - cotton is wonderful for wicking...comfort etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the input everyone. UKP, I understand what you are saying regarding the chances being very small but I'm just a big free range chicken who doesn't want to be BBQ'd. If nothing else it will give me peace of mind that I'm taking "safety" precautions, even if they don't add all that much safety. That in and of itself will keep my wife from getting angry at me IF something should occur.
 
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