A method was developed to assess the radiant heat protection of complete garments. The radiant heat source exposed the jackets to a constant heat flux of 5 to 10 kW/m2, corresponding to hazardous situations for firefighters. The heat buffering effect and the thermal transfer of six different jacket types were studied. The leather jacket analyzed had a different temperature course from the textile jackets: during the first seconds, the heat transfer is very small compared to the other samples, followed by a high temperature rise, which results in a low pain alarm time.
Up to 10 kW/m2, the integrity of the clothing remains mostly intact, apart from minor damages in the moisture barrier. This is probably one of the most important reasons why the results could not be compared to the standardized radiant heat test at 40 kW/m2, as the heat transfer changes when the samples become damaged.
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