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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 30, 2009

A Theoretical Investigation into Phase Change Clothing Benefits for Firefighters under Extreme Conditions

Geoffry N. Mercer and Harvinder S Sidhu

We investigate the thermal performance of protective clothing that has an embedded phase change layer. Heat absorption due to phase change within the material is used to limit the thermal penetration of heat into the material and hence to the firefighter. The distribution of temperature within the fabric and skin during the exposure to an extreme firefighting situation is determined. To determine the protective nature of the clothing, we also include a model of the skin as three layers with differing thermal properties namely the epidermis, dermis and the subcutaneous layer. In our model, we have also incorporated the air gap between the garment and the body. The mathematical model is used to predict the duration of fire exposure during which the garment is able to protect the firefighter from getting first and second degree burns.

Published Online: 2009-8-30

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