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TPACC has developed a powerful new tool for measuring the thermal protective performance of head and face protective clothing in controlled laboratory fire exposures. Development of the PyroHead™ Fire Testing System required advances in laboratory instrumentation technology including development of a new stand-alone manikin bust capable of surviving repeated exposures to intense fire environments and modification to a skin burn translations algorithm to account for the difference in skin thickness found in the various features of the head and face.

The PyroHead™ Fire Testing System consists of a stand-alone manikin bust mounted in the PyroMan fire test chamber. Four propane gas burners are configured to produce a thermal exposure intensity averaging 84 kW/m2(2.0cal/cm2sec) across the surface of the head form.

A manikin bust before and after a flame in a test chamber, and a graphic of numbered manikin burn areas

PyroHead™ is fitted with 22 thermal sensors distributed across both head and neck regions. There are sensors which are located in the eyes, ears, chin, cheek, cranium, laryngeal prominence, and side portions of the neck. During a flame exposure, heat flux readings obtained from these sensors are translated to predictions of skin burn injury. This is done using the PyroMan burn translation model, modified to account for differences in skin thickness found in the head region compared with those found in the torso areas of the human body.

PyroHead™ test results are graphically displayed to show the percentage of second and third degree as well as total burn injury, and the spatial distribution of burn predictions for differing sides of the head.

A graphic of numbered manikin burn areas alongside burn injury prediction data