Energy Transport in Firefighter Protective Clothing
Spangler, Kevin B
di Marzo, Marino
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Firefighting protective clothing is a highly advanced system designed to protect people from being burned in high temperature environments. Studies have shown a time delay from when a firefighter enters a high temperature environment until the skin feels a temperature increase. A similar time delay is found when the firefighter leaves the hot environment until the skin begins to cool. An experiment was conducted that used thermocouples to observe room temperatures, outside gear temperatures and skin temperatures of firefighters in high intensity and long duration heat exposures. Computer models were created to duplicate and understand the resulting temperature response in the tests. A multi-layered model uses defined material properties to replicate the results and understand the contribution of the individual layers. The computer models can recreate the testing results and it is found that air gaps throughout firefighter gear are critical in providing protection from heat for the firefighters.