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Full Ensemble and Bench Scale Testing of Fire Fighter Protective Clothing.

pdf icon Full Ensemble and Bench Scale Testing of Fire Fighter Protective Clothing. (2558 K)
Stroup, D. W.; McLane, R. A.; Twilley, W. H.

NISTIR 7467; 75 p. November 2007.


Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC


protective clothing; fire fighters; turnout coats; fire models; tests; mannequins; uncertainity; burns (injuries); fire fighting equipment; heat transfer; large scale fire tests; test methods


The Thermal Protective Perfonnance (TPP) test was developed to quantify the performance of fire fighter protective clothing ensembles under an intense thermal exposure. This test method has certainly helped to improve the thermal protection of fire fighter protective clothing. However, many fire service bum injuries can be traced to significantly lower thermal exposures than are simulated by the TPP test. A bench scale test method has been developed to evaluate the perfonnance of fire fighter protective clothing at low heat fluxes. Tnaddition, a full scale test apparatus capable of exposing both complete fire fighter ensembles and samples similar to those used in the bench scale test to various heat flux levels is under development. Both of these tests provide temperature measurements on the surface of the outer shell, at locations between the fabric or moisture barrier layers inside the protective clothing system, and at the thermal liner surface. When plotted, these temperature measurements show a detailed picture of how a protective clothing system performs when exposed to a given thermal environment. This report describes comparisons of results obtained using the bench scale test with data from the full-scale test apparatus. The data are also compared to results from a fire fighter protective clothing heat transfer model.