Characterizing the Tensile Strength of the Fabrics Used in Firefighters' Bunker Gear under Radiant Heat Exposure.

Mazumder, Nur-Us-Shafa
Mandal, Sumit
Agnew, Robert J.
Petrova, Adriana
Boorady, Lynn M.
Song, Guowen
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2022 MDPI AG
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Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management
More than 60,000 firefighters' injuries were reported by the National Fire Protection Association in the U.S. in 2019. Inadequate protection by bunker gear could be a reason for most of the injuries. Firefighters repeatedly encounter thermal hazards due to their job responsibilities. Degradation could occur on bunker gear fabric during thermal exposure. It has been found that the presence of moisture affects performance as well, which may come from wearers' sweat. Proper evaluation of the tensile strength of the fabrics used in bunker gear could provide information essential for maintenance the overall integrity of the gear. An evaluation of the tensile strength of fabrics when exposed to 10, 15, and 20 kW/m radiant heat flux in the presence of moisture is reported. In each fabric system, a total of sixty-four different samples were prepared for four different types of fabric and four levels of moisture which were exposed to three different radiant heat flux for five minutes. Heat flux and moisture levels have significant impact on tensile strength. The effect of moisture on tensile strength in a three-layered fabric system is higher than that for a single layer fabric. An understanding of the impact of heat and moisture on fabric strength has been achieved.
This article is published as Mazumder, N.-U.-S.; Mandal, S.; Agnew, R.J.; Petrova, A.; Boorady, L.M.; Song, G. Characterizing the Tensile Strength of the Fabrics Used in Firefighters’ Bunker Gear under Radiant Heat Exposure. Polymers 2022, 14, 296. Posted with permission.
fire protective textiles, sweat moisture, fabric strength, radiant heat, textile properties