Thermal Protection Laboratory
Employees in hazardous occupations such as military personnel, firefighters, welders, molten metal workers, astronauts, race-car drivers, and those working in an environment conducive to spontaneous combustion, may be required to wear clothing constructed from protective materials. The garments worn should provide adequate protection to assist in the reduction of burn injury resulting from external threats of flame and intense heat. The level of protection provided can be assessed though laboratory testing techniques.
Instrumentation in the Thermal Protection Laboratory analyzes materials and ensemble components and systems for their thermal protection properties when exposed to convective, radiant, full scale fire exposures, and/or combinations of these thermal hazards. Using the following tools, research, testing and evaluation is conducted from fabric swatch to the garment level:
- Instrumentation for fabric level analysis includes the Thermal Protective Performance (TPP), Radiant Protective Performance (RPP), Stored Energy Tester (SET), and vertical flame tests.
- PyroMan™ – a fully instrumented, life-sized manikin used to evaluate the performance of thermally protective clothing. Housed in a large fire test chamber, the PyroMan™ system provides safe, controlled, repeatable exposures of flame threats. PyroMan™ is a highly sophisticated instrument used to study garment and body reaction to intense heat and flames. Computerized analysis of manikin sensor response indicates potential tissue burn injury to a wearer, burn area, and severity.
- T-PACC research and development efforts have created new instrumentation with corresponding standard test procedures. These new devices and methods, Off-Gas Testing, PyroHands™, PyroHead™, and RadHand™, expand capabilities for assessment of the protective performance of clothing material composites and ensemble accessories items.
Testing capabilities include:
- ASTM F 1060 – Standard Test Method for Thermal Protective Performance of Materials for Protective Clothing for Hot Surface Contact
- ASTM F 1930 – Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Flame Resistant Clothing for Protection Against Fire Simulations Using an Instrumented Manikin
- ASTM F 1939 – Standard Test Method for Radiant Heat Resistance of Flame Resistant Clothing Materials with Continuous Heating
- ASTM F 2700 – Standard Test Method for Unsteady-State Heat Transfer Evaluation of Flame Resistant Materials for Clothing with Continuous Heating
- ASTM F 2702 – Standard Test Method for Radiant Heat Performance of Flame Resistant Clothing Materials with Burn Injury Prediction
- ASTM F 2703 – Standard Test Method for Unsteady-State Heat Transfer Evaluation of Flame Resistant Materials for Clothing with Burn Injury Prediction
- ASTM F 2731 – Standard Test Method for Measuring the Transmitted and Stored Energy of Firefighter Protective Clothing Systems
- ASTM F 2733 – Standard Specification for Flame Resistant Rainwear for Protection against Flame Hazards; Section 8, Thermal Performance Testing Procedures
- ASTM D 6413 – Standard Test Method for Flame Resistance of Textiles (Vertical Test)
- NFPA 1971 – Thermal Protective Performance (TPP)
- NFPA 2112 – Heat Transfer Performance (HTP) Test
- New Instrumentation and Laboratory Under Development