US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)(9/18/19 - 9/17/21)
Assessment, Improvement, and Application of Multi-Hazard System-Level Performance Evaluations of First Responder Ensembles
Sponsor: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)
Start Date: 9/18/19
End Date: 9/17/21
Purpose & Aims: Critically review and assess NFPA standards and improve system-level testing methods by investigating application and relevance to fire service and responder communities. Current material-level tests outlined in NFPA standards are useful for characterizing fabrics used in protective garments; they do not capture the full system-level performance for user wear during various tasks. Full examination and range of system-level evaluations will be conducted and aid in developing an updated testing platform which firefighters can use to assess their own ensemble and support development of a new NFPA standard. Relevance: Full system-level tests in NFPA standards are impactful in assessing protective clothing as worn by the responder; however, some of these methods lack comprehensive evaluation for its application in integration and interoperability. This research will provide the basis and support for a new NFPA standard for system-level evaluations of the responder in addition to providing the responder community with testing protocols that can be conducted at their respective station for assessment. Methods: Material and system level methods will be implemented to research, examine, and assess current test methods utilized in NFPA standards. NCSUâ€™s capabilities with manikin systems, in-depth knowledge of users and standards, and expertise in human wear testing will provide unprecedented evaluations specific to protective systems worn against a multitude of encountered hazards. Anticipated Outcomes: This research will contribute to improve firefighter protection and promote education through the creation and design of test methods implemented in a new NFPA standard focused on integration and interoperability of protective ensembles.
Development of Protective Ensemble(s) for DSM Dyneema Technicians
Sponsor: DSM Dyneema
Start Date: 9/03/18
End Date: 12/31/19
To aid DSM Dyneema in better protecting their technicians, the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC) at NC State University will conduct a focused research effort to address the incompatibility of the ensemble elements and inadequate balance of protection and comfort. The initial research project will consist of three phases: 1) Literature review and assessment of hazards for respiratory and dermal exposure to production solvent as well as thermal exposure hazards, 2) Survey of PPE market for existing protective ensembles or elements that meet the needs of the technicians, 3) Preparation and delivery of final report. The proposed duration of the research will be four (4) months. Anticipated period of performance is September 2018 â€“ December 2018, pending official start date.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)(9/14/18 - 9/13/21)
Enhanced Cleaning to Reduce Firefighter Exposure to Carcinogens
Sponsor: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Start Date: 9/14/18
End Date: 9/13/21
Purpose & Aims: This research will develop deep-cleaning methods to remove residual smoke & vapor carcinogens present in turnout material components after conventional washing. Relevance: Current NFPA 1851 advanced washing procedures remove 40% or less of potentially carcinogenic contaminants found in turnout gear after firefighting smoke exposure. After wash contaminants can migrate from turnout suits & transfer to skin; semi-volatile compounds can off-gas, exposing firefighters to low-level sustained doses of toxic vapors. Better cleaning methods, to extract residual smoke & fire ground contaminants, at reasonable cost & with less damage to gear, will reduce firefighter cancer risks. Methods: 1) Determine the level of accumulated carcinogens in retired smoke-exposed turnout gear; assess potential transfer of carcinogens via skin contact & potential for off gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 2) Contaminate representative combinations of new turnout outer shell, moisture barrier and thermal liner materials with controlled doses of target chemicals; clean with CO2 & enhanced conventional processes; analyze for residual contaminants. 3) Use deep-clean wash procedures to launder new structural uniforms, gloves & hoods contaminated with known carcinogenic compound levels; following up to 10 cleaning cycles compare carcinogen content levels found in gear laundered using current NFPA 1851 cleaning procedures for cleaning effectiveness, cost, & turnout durability. Anticipated Outcomes: Provide fire service community with new hazard assessments for residual contaminants in smoke-exposed legacy gear; identify next-generation cleaning procedures to remove more contaminants from turnout suits; recommend procedures to relevant NFPA technical committees, fire departments, laundries, and Independent Service Providers (ISPs).
US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)(7/28/16 - 12/31/19)
Revolutionizing the Protective Hood: Particulate Protection, Cleaning Effectiveness, and Training Demonstration
Sponsor: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)
Start Date: 7/28/16
End Date: 12/31/19
Purpose & Aims: To enhance the safety of firefighters by developing a systems-level methodology for evaluating protective hood materials and designs for protection against toxic smoke particles while providing acceptable wear comfort and thermal protection. The trade-offs associated with particulate and flash fire protection and heat stress will be assessed and used as basis for identifying protective hoods systems that will provide the firefighter with barrier protection while also minimizing thermal strain. An inexpensive field-level particulate demonstration will be developed in conjunction Boston Fire Department that will serve as a training and awareness tool that can be adopted at fire departments across the country. Relevance: Analyses of fire ground exposures and cancers in firefighters have exposed limitations in current hoods. The NFPA 1971 standard on firefighter PPE does not have requirements in place to evaluate particulate protection or thermal heat stress associated with hoods. This research will provide the technical basis for performance criteria and evaluation methodologies for hoods as well as their durability and cleaning effectiveness. Methods: Material and product level methods will be utilized to study the effects of particulate resistant materials and innovative designs on the ability of the protective system to mitigate exposure to smoke particulates while providing breathability to reduce heat stress. NCSUâ€™s unique suite of instrumented upper body manikin systems will provide unprecedented evaluation levels specific to protective hoods that will be validated against live-fire field assessments. Anticipated Outcomes: This research will contribute to improve firefighter protection from dermal exposures to smoke contaminants; balance thermal protective, ergonomic, and stability requirements by providing validated methodologies and performance criteria that will serve as a basis for optimizing the protective performance of hood constructions that manufacturers offer to the firefighter.
Analysis Of Odorous Compounds In Athletic Shoes With Antimicrobial Properties
Sponsor: adidas International, Inc.
Start Date: 8/01/15
End Date: 2/28/17
For the development of a new footwear product, Adidas has determined the need to have a quantitative assessment of the efficacy of an antimicrobial treatment as opposed to a standard subjective human odor panel. In addition to measuring the amounts of common odorous compounds present in treated versus untreated footwear samples, the research should also address the human perception of odors that are present. For this research project, the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC) at NC State University will develop analytical methods to collect, extract, and analyze the common odorous compounds that may be present in the footwear samples after being worn. These analysis methods will then be used to generate a correlation between amount of compound that is present and the human perception of odor intensity.
US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)(9/01/15 - 9/30/17)
Smoke and Particulate Resistant Structural Turnout Ensemble
Sponsor: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)
Start Date: 9/01/15
End Date: 9/30/17
The Textile Protection and Comfort Center and LION First Responder PPE, Inc. propose to develop a prototype fire fighter turnout system to enhance protection against smoke and toxic vapors during and after fire suppression. The garment system will meet the current NFPA 1971 Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Firefighting and Proximity Firefighting requirements while also providing protection from toxicants present in smoke including particulates, combustion products, and chemicals volatilized within the fire environment. The turnout system will not be engineered solely for improved protective performance but will be designed for improved ergonomics, easy donning and doffing, comfort, high level functionality, commercial practicality, and affordability.
Design of the system will be based on established field testing data and commercial experience to optimize function and fit with an emphasis placed on seams, interfaces, and closures. A systems engineering based approach will be used to conduct the project. Inputs from the DHS FRG, from expert panel members, and the expertise of the project team will be used and weighted to develop proposed system level solutions, balance the performance criteria, and down-select to the optimal design. While the focus will be on interface design and materials, all solutions will be chosen so that they, first and foremost, meet the requirements of NFPA 1971 as well as the applicable parts of the NFPA 1992 and NFPA 1994 Class 3 and/or Class 4 while providing needed comfort, functionality and affordability.
Vestergaard Frandsen has determined the need to provide validated analytical methods for the extraction and analysis of various insecticides from polymer pellets, fibers, and fabrics intended to be used as insecticidal wall coverings in African locations. The end products should provide protection from disease carrying insects such as mosquitos throughout the time they are used. For this research project, the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC) at NC State University will develop and validate the extraction and analysis methods required to analyze the chosen insecticides. An additional task of the project will focus on an assessment of available insecticide on the surface of the material which may be removed by a cleaning wipe or by a personâ€™s hand.
Combating Terrorism Technology Support Office (CTTSO)(3/30/15 - 9/30/17)
Next Generation NFPA 1994 Ruggedized Class 2 Ensemble
Sponsor: Combating Terrorism Technology Support Office (CTTSO)
Start Date: 3/30/15
End Date: 9/30/17
This proposal covers the development of the next generation NFPA 1994 ruggedized Class 2 ensemble. The new system will provide NFPA 1994 Class 2 level protection from toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) and chemical warfare agents (CWAs) with increased durability for multiple wears in training exercises or events with no significant exposures. To aid in the development process, the new ensemble will be based on the existing MT-94â„¢ ensemble from LION Apparel, Inc. that is already certified to NFPA 1994 Class 2 requirements. This project aims to design the new ruggedized ensemble based on the invaluable feedback from actual users of the current system. The focus groups will incorporate end-users that are familiar with the MT-94â„¢ in both the fire service/HAZMAT and law enforcement/military applications. Through a wear trial consisting of twelve wear/training scenarios and three Man-in-Simulant-Tests (MIST), the most important areas of the garment that require ruggedization will be identified. The MIST evaluations will provide performance on the ensemble as a whole, while the material-level performance will be assessed through chemical permeation and penetration resistance, puncture-propagation tear resistance, burst strength, and seam strength tests according to methods in NFPA 1994 and 1992 standards. Ruggedized materials will be assessed for their usability in the identified garment locations and to determine if they are fit-for-use in the CB environment. Two prototype ensembles, one for each application type, will be subjected to the same twelve wears as the baseline system. The integration of communication systems and body armor will also be assessed during the wear trials. Two end-user groups will be used in field evaluations to provide an overall assessment of the new ensemble. In the final phase of the project, the new system will be submitted for NFPA 1994 Class 2 certification.
Incorporating Standards Education into Courses on Textile Protection and Comfort
Sponsor: US Dept. of Commerce (DOC)
Start Date: 7/01/14
End Date: 12/31/16
The College of Textiles at North Carolina State University (NCSU) has begun to develop new course materials and pedagogical approaches that will incorporate standards principles into courses on the comfort and protective performance of personal protective equipment (PPE). The initial focus is on systems for protecting against exposures to fire and intense heat, chemical and biological, threats and mechanical and ballistic hazards. Two additional courses on chemical and biological protection and on thermal protection will be the main focus for this current proposal,to include a survey of prospective students and employers to determine their perceived needs and knowledge gaps. The results will be used to enhance course development and to meet market needs.
NCSU Professional Science Master(8/01/13 - 11/30/14)
UNC System Sloan Grant for PSM in Human Protection and Comfort Science
Sponsor: NCSU Professional Science Master
Start Date: 8/01/13
End Date: 11/30/14
The budget submitted anticipated that the proposed $5000 funding would be used to support both program development and curriculum development. Since the amount awarded has been reduced to $3625, and since the funds must be spent before final approval of the new courses in Thermal Protection (Dr. Hummel) and Chemical Protection (Dr. Ormond), we propose to use $1,650 to support Dr. Don B. Thompson for development of the PSM program, $750 for the affiliation fee to the National PSM group and $1,225.00 for development of both a virtual brochure and a printed brochure to use in marketing the PSM. This is an increase of $475 for brochure development, which we anticipate will be used for printing costs for the brochure. Currently, Dr. Emiel DenHartog, a new member of TPACC (and of the Institute and PSM), is developing a course in Comfort and Physiology using Departmental funds; and we anticipate that Dr. Ormond and Dr. Hummel will also use TPACC funds for class development. We are also hopeful that a pending grant from NIST will support the traditional and distance education class development.