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Thermal performance of fire fighters' protective clothing: Simulating a TPP test for single-layered fabrics

By : Scott Kukuck, Kuldeep Prasad
 
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1 Abstract


Fabrics that are used in firefighter turnout gear are specifically designed to offer protection from various extreme conditions that may arise during fire exposures. To optimize the design of these garments and understand the conditions for which protection is offered requires knowing how the transient response of the fabrics is affected by the many possible factors that arise. A model was recently developed that describes the heat and mass (moisture) transfer across protective fabrics subjected to incident thermal conditions and illustrated the importance of including moisture transport effects even under low incident flux conditions. This model is now used to study the transient response of protective fabrics to high intensity, short duration heat flux exposures. Numerical simulations of a Thermal Protective Performance test were conducted for two fabrics used as outer shell materials for turnout garments. Predicted results were found to favorably agree with experimental measurements, with Thermal Protective Performance ratings from the model within 6% of measured ratings. The ability of the model to describe the temperature across the entire thickness of the fabric rather than simply present a sensor response during an exposure provides additional information that can be further utilized to predict the thermal degradation of the materials.



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Originally Published at National Institute Of Standards and Technology




About the Authors:


The authors are associated with Fire Research Division, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD.



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