Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / New test method to minimize stored heat burns in firefighter suits
New test method to minimize stored heat burns in firefighter suits
30
Apr '09
For decades, researchers have evaluated the thermal performance of protective clothing worn by firefighters. A particular area of current interest is how to address the burns received by firefighters when they are not directly in contact with fire – called stored heat burns.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a testing apparatus and measurement protocol that allow firefighter suits to be evaluated for their ability to prevent and minimize stored heat burns.

"You can compare the burn to when you sit close to a fireplace, and then press down on your jeans and you can feel the heat," says Dr. Roger Barker, professor of textile engineering chemistry and science, and director of the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (T-PACC). "Firefighters are getting burns without ever coming in direct contact with the flames. It is a serious issue."

Barker and his colleagues were contacted to develop and evaluate this new test method for stored heat measurement in a two-phase study. During the first phase, sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Barker and his team developed a laboratory testing apparatus to conduct the "stored energy test" which measures transferred and discharged heat in turnout suit materials.

The second phase, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Research Foundation, involved using that apparatus to test a variety of firefighter suits and develop a database that will facilitate a new national standard that firefighter suits are measured against and certified.

All firefighter turnout suits are made of three layers – an outer shell, moisture barrier and thermal liner. There are many different combinations of fabrics and barriers used, and reinforcements and reflective trim are attached to the outer shell. Regardless of the combination of materials used, suits must go through a battery of tests to meet the standard set by the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA.

"One of the major objectives of our study was to better understand the role moisture – mostly the sweat from firefighters – plays in transferred and stored heat burns," Barker says. "When moisture accumulates in the turnout suit materials, it has a big effect on the thermal properties of those materials and changes its heat capacity and thermal conductivity. These changes affect its thermal protective insulation and ability to store thermal energy.

"The stored energy test protocol we developed includes having suit test materials pre-conditioned with moisture – similar to the sweat of a firefighter – in order to determine the effect on transferred and stored heat," Barker adds.

Throughout the development process, various stakeholders – including firefighters, suit manufacturers and members of the NFPA – provided feedback and input to NC State's researchers in order to develop a protocol that met the needs of the firefighters, while understanding the challenges and limitations of the manufacturing process.

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 10th Dec 2016

India’s 2016-17 cotton import to touch 17 lakh bales

The import of cotton from international markets by spinning mills in...

Textiles | On 10th Dec 2016

US textile & apparel imports fall 6.50% in Jan-Oct ’16

The import of textiles and apparel by United States dropped 6.50 per...

Textiles | On 10th Dec 2016

Indian textile hubs adopt cashless payment modes

The textile ministry is promoting cashless payment within the...

Interviews View All

Kamlesh Vaghela
RK Textiles

Very few machinery manufacturers have R&D units

Karan Suratwala
Key Textile Accessories Private Limited

Chinese imports are destroying the supply chain

Neel Sawhney
One Friday

‘The share of kidswear segment in the online sector is still small in...

Silke Brand-Kirsch
Schlegel und Partner

Silke Brand-Kirsch, executive partner of Schlegel und Partner, a leading...

Marten Alkhagen
Swerea IVF AB

Marten Alkhagen, Senior Scientist - Nonwoven and Technical Textiles of...

Steve Cole
Xerium Technologies

Steve Cole of Xerium Technologies discusses the industry. Xerium is the...

Wendell Rodricks
Wendell Rodricks

"We should not compare India and the West. There are things we do that...

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Igor Chapurin
Chapurin

"Now we can see the Russian trend in international fashion. And Russian...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH
December 2016

December 2016

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

SUBSCRIBE


Browse Our Archives

GO


Advanced Search