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    STP1593

    Assessing Design and Materials for Flame-Resistant Garments

    Published: 2016


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    Abstract

    Flame and thermal protective garments can be produced by the use of materials that are either inherently flame-resistant (FR) or rendered FR by inclusion of FR additives, but the selection of FR materials cannot ensure FR protection. Fasteners such as zippers or hook and loop closures are often not FR, and inclusion of these design elements can induce burn injury in an ensemble if a garment is exposed to a flame or thermal threat. To maximize performance of an FR garment, the materials and design must work together. This paper reports results of FR testing of various military garments and demonstrates the importance of integrating FR textiles and design features that work together to provide optimal protection against flame and thermal threats. It also addresses the advantages of a novel midscale FR test that is under development. A great deal of useful information is lost when standard FR test methods are utilized. If FR tests are to be used effectively to refine design details and minimize potential burn injury, an alternate method providing more detailed information about the nature and local surface distribution of the potential burn injury is required. The midscale method under development provides a more sensor-rich environment than do those of standard test methods. It also accommodates alternate methods of data acquisition and reduction and burn injury prediction. The new test lies between swatch and ensemble level and uses propane torches as the heat source to provide a heat flux of 84 KW/m2. The midscale apparatus can also be used for more realistic sensor calibration.

    Keywords:

    garment design for protection, midscale flame-resistant (FR) testing, transmitted heat flux measurement, burn injury modeling


    Author Information:

    Auerbach, Margaret
    U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, MA

    Godfrey, Thomas
    U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, MA

    Grady, Michael
    U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, MA

    Roylance, Margaret
    U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, MA


    Committee/Subcommittee: F23.50

    DOI: 10.1520/STP159320160006