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    STP1593

    Comparisons of Two Test Methods for Evaluating the Radiant Protective Performance of Wildland Firefighter Protective Clothing Materials

    Published: 2016


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    Abstract

    Firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE) is often worn in radiant thermal exposures that are significantly lower than the high intensity “flash fire” conditions in which they are tested and certified. This is particularly true in the case of wildland firefighting, where the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has identified the reasonable maximum exposure for their normal work conditions as less than 10 kW/m2. This research will review the testing methodologies used to evaluate the thermal protective performance of meta-aramid fabric materials utilized in lower-intensity radiant heat exposures. The current standard Radiant Protective Performance test method possesses inherent limitations that greatly affect the results of the test at lower flux exposures. To improve on these limitations, this research has made use of the ASTM F2731 test platform; this is a new bench-scale testing platform that uses water-cooled thermal sensor technology and an advanced skin burn injury model to provide a more accurate prediction for burn injuries resulting from the transmission of radiant heat. This study proves that the new test method and platform are repeatable and can differentiate among meta-aramid fabrics of differing weights.

    Keywords:

    Radiant Protective Performance, stored energy tester, wildlands, protective clothing


    Author Information:

    Hummel, Alex
    North Carolina State University, Textile Protection and Comfort Center, Raleigh, NC

    Watson, Kyle
    North Carolina State University, Textile Protection and Comfort Center, Raleigh, NC

    Barker, Roger
    North Carolina State University, Textile Protection and Comfort Center, Raleigh, NC


    Committee/Subcommittee: F23.50

    DOI: 10.1520/STP159320160012