Estimates of Thermal Conductivity for Materials Used in Fire Fighter's Protective Clothing.
Estimates of Thermal Conductivity for Materials Used in
Fire Fighter's Protective Clothing.
Lawson, J. R.; Pinder, T. A.
NISTIR 6512; 22 p. May 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.
1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Order number: PB2000-105986
protective clothing; fire fighters; thermal
conductivity; heat transfer; test methods
Fire fighters' protective clothing provides a limited
amount of thermal protection from environmental
exposures produced by fires. This level of thermal
protection varies with the design, materials,
construction, and fit of the protective garments. Limits
of thermal protection may be analyzed using the
thermophysical properties of garment materials. However,
little information is currently available for analyzing
and predicting protective garment thermal performance.
To address this need, a research effort was begun to
measure the critical thermal properties of fire
fighters' protective clothing materials. These thermal
properties are: thermal conductivity, specific heat, and
the thermal spectral properties of emissivity,
transmissivity and reflectivity. This report presents
thermal conductivity data for nine materials used in
fabricating fire fighters' protective clothing. These
materials included outer shell fabrics, moisture
barrier, thermal liner batting, and reflective trim. As
a comparison, measurements were also made on a cotton
duck fabric. The thermal conductivity of individual
protective clothing materials was measured using the
test procedure specified in ASTM C-518 Standard Test
Method for Steady-State Thermal Transmission Properties
by Means of Heat Flow Meter Apparatus. Measurements
producing estimates of thermal conductivity for single
layers of materials were carried out at mean test
temperatures of 20 deg C (68 deg F), 48 deg C (118 deg
F), 55 deg C (131 deg F), and 72 deg C (162 deg F). No
visible physical changes were observed with any of the
materials tested at these temperatures. Thermal
conductivity estimates for materials used in the
construction of fire fighters' protective clothing
ranged from 0.034 W/mK to 0.136 W/mK over the range of
temperatures addressed in the study. Generally, thermal
conductivity values increased for all materials as mean
test temperatures were increased.