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Enhancing the Protection Performance of Flame Resistant Fabrics Using Phase Change Materials

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Current application of phase change materials (PCMs) in protective clothing is mostly limited to providing comfort through temperature regulation in extremely hot or cold weather. In this research work, PCMs were incorporated into a firefighter’s garment fabrics to enhance its thermal protective performance. Woven and knit Spentex (carbon-based flame resistant (FR) fiber) fabrics were permeated with selected hydrated salt PCMs. The rate of temperature rise on the wearer side was traced. Inclusion of PCMs increased the fabric thickness and its thermal conductivity which, in turn, resulted in a slight increase in thermal resistance. Thermal protective performance (TPP) testing showed a significant increase in protection time and performance with use of PCMs. Such extension in the tolerable rescue time can be important in preventing firefighters’ burns.
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Keywords: Carbon-Based FR Fiber; Firefighters; Flame Resistance; Phase Change Materials; Protective Textiles

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2014

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