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EVALUATION OF THE THERMAL PERFORMANCE OF FIRE FIGHTER PROTECTIVE CLOTHING WITH THE ADDITION OF PHASE CHANGE MATERIAL
McCarthy, Lee K.
di Marzo, Marino
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Fire fighters rely on fire fighter protective clothing (FFPC) to provide adequate protection in the various hazardous environments they may encounter during operations. FFPC has seen significant advancement in technology over the past few decades. The addition of phase change material (PCM) to FFPC is a new technology with potential to enhance the thermal protection provided by the FFPC. To explore this technology, data from bench-scale experiments involving FFPC with PCMs are compared with a theoretical finite difference heat transfer model. The results demonstrate an effective method to mathematically model the heat transfer and provide insight into the effectiveness of improving the thermal protection of FFPC. The experiments confirm that the latent heat absorbed during the phase change reduces temperatures that might be experienced at the fire fighter's skin surface, advancing the high temperature performance of FFPC.