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Development of a Dynamic Compression Test Apparatus for Measuring Thermal Performance of Fire Fighter's Protective Clothing.


pdf icon Development of a Dynamic Compression Test Apparatus for Measuring Thermal Performance of Fire Fighter's Protective Clothing. (4442 K)
Lawson, J. R.; Twilley, W. H.; Malley, K. S.

NISTIR 6502; 70 p. April 2000.

Sponsor:

Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, DC

Available from:

National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
Telephone: 1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Fax: 703-605-6900.
Website: http://www.ntis.gov
Order number: PB2000-105743

Keywords:

protective clothing; fire fighters; burns (injuries); test methods; heat transfer; test equipment

Abstract:

A dynamic compression test apparatus has been developed that bases its design on fire ground conditions that produce burn injuries to the knees of fire fighters. This apparatus may be used to measure the thermal performance of fire fighters' protective clothing in either wet or dry thermal environments. Studies conducted by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) show that the contact surface area of the human knee is approximately 3710 mm2 (5.75 in. 2) for a male fire fighter with a body mass of about 79 kg (174 lbs). In addition, the FDNY shows that a fully equipped 79 kg (174 lb) fire fighter operating a charged 44.5 mm (1 3/4 in.) hoseline had a mean average knee compression, force per unit area, of 133 kPa (19.3 lbf/in. 2). The test apparatus and operating procedures discussed in this report take these data into consideration. The test apparatus uses a timer controlled pneumatic piston to compress the thermal sensor against the test specimen. Test results show that the compression apparatus can discriminate between various levels of thermal performance for fire fighters' protective clothing knee pad systems. In addition, results from the apparatus show that knee pad systems can have significantly different thermal performance when exposed to wet and dry thermal conditions.