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Development of a Sweating Thermal Conductive Performance Apparatus for
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Fire fighter burn injuries continue to be a frequent problem despite significant advances in protective clothing. A reason for this is the buildup of moisture in fire fighting garments as a result of sweating or fire fighting activities. This buildup of moisture increases the heat transfer through the garment and can result in scald burn injuries as the water is quickly heated. Currently, there is not an established, standard test method for accurately measuring the performance of garments under various wetting and heat load conditions. Such a standard would allow the development of specific performance requirements for fire fighting clothing while providing an accurate basis for comparison. The Phase 1 objective is to develop a practical, bench-scale test method for which the thermal performance of fire fighting protective clothing can be evaluated under varying wetting and thermal conditions. The program will encompass both a literature search and analysis of the relevant work in this area as well as experimental development of a test apparatus. A limited selection of fire fighting garment materials will be evaluated during Phase 1. Completion of this objective will result in detailed plans for a test standard and apparatus that will be fully validated in Phase 2.
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