Abstract In this study we analysed the effect of moisture on the thermal protective performance of fire-fighter clothing in case of routine fire-fighting conditions. In the first stage of this research we investigated simultaneous heat and moisture transfer through a single-layer fabric, used as underwear for fire-fighters, at different moisture conditions. In the second stage of the study, the underwear in dry and wet state was tested together with protective clothing systems for fire-fighter consisting of three or four layers. It was found that during the evaporation of the moisture, a temperature plateau appeared during which temperatures hardly rose. The energy consumption used for the phase change of moisture located in the assembly dominated the heat transfer process as long as there was moisture present. As soon as all water had evaporated, the temperatures approached the temperatures measured for dry samples. The moisture within the clothing assembly did not lead to increased temperatures compared with the measurements with dry samples. This research has confirmed that moisture can positively affect the thermal protection of a clothing system.
Autex Research Journal – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 1, 2015