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A variety of cotton fabrics treated to confer flame resistance characteristics were examined with the use of highly specialized laboratory equipment and procedures to predict their potential for thermal protection. Thermal sources based on convective (flame) and radiant exposures that approximate possible high-risk situations were employed. At 1.0 and 2.0-cal/cm2/s heat flux levels of exposure, fabric weight or thickness was found to be directly related to the amount of thermal energy passed through to the sensor.
Several investigators are currently examining the properties of wool, Nomex, flame resistant (FR) cotton, and other protective fabrics by similar approaches. Our work emphasizes the state of the art with flame resistant cotton fabrics. Very little has been published previously on multiple-layer assemblies and the effect of air spaces in such assemblies, so only a few model systems have been reported. Air spacing in multiple-layer systems has been found to be a significant contributor to insulation.
cotton fabrics, flame resistance, thermal protection, convective heat flux, radiant heat flux, protection time, single-layer assemblies, multiple-layer assemblies, insulative performance, protective clothing
Vice-president, Westex, Inc., Chicago, IL
Albany International Research Co., Dedham, MA