Development of an Instrumented Dynamic Mannequin Test to Rate the Protection Provided by Protective Clothing

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Sipe, Joel Edwards
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility; Firefighers Clothing; Fire Protection; Military uniforms; Fire testing; Protective clothing; Mannequins (Figures)
artifact description
A dynamic mannequin testing facility has been constructed to test the thermal protective properties of Navy uniforms and protective clothing. The existing facility consists of a traversing mannequin mechanism that passes through a fire that has been spatially characterized by temperature and heat flux measurements. The fire is provided by 8 propane sand burners in a modified ISO 9705 room. The current project is a continuation of work done by WPI Students over the last 5 years. A copper disk surface heat flux transducer has been designed and calibrated in the WPI Cone Calorimeter. The mannequin has been instrumented with 40 of these transducers for the acquisition of heat flux data during fire exposures. Heat Flux data was collected with the bare mannequin and through protective clothing for a range of exposure times. A finite difference method approach is used to model the skins temperature response at the epidermis-dermis interface. This temperature is used to predict 1st and 2nd degree skin burns using Henrique's burn damage integral. The percent total body area (%TBA) affected by burns can be calculated by this method. The facility is now capable of providing comparative data on the relative thermal protection provided by different clothing.