Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hightech textiles to combat heat stress

25.10.2012
Optimised fire-resistant clothing to help protect against circulatory collapse

According to a study from 2003, 49% of fatalities amongst fire-fighters in the USA were attributable to heat stress.* Based on this study and within the framework of the research project (AiF-Nr. 16676 N) scientists at the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim, in conjunction with several industry partners, have developed special functional underwear for fire-fighting deployment teams.

Whereas outer clothing as part of personal protective clothing (PPE) has been constantly improved and further fine-tuned over the last few decades and must also comply with detailed specifications, very little attention has to date been paid to the clothing layers worn beneath. In the sport and leisure sector these finely-tuned clothing layers worn on top of each other and providing optimum support to the physiological processes of the wearer have now become customary. However for the fire services the question of "underneath" has largely been viewed as a private matter despite the fact that they are subject to environmental conditions and physical exertion when in deployment that far exceed those in professional sport.

In the development of a clothing system for fire-fighters, project manager Dr. Bianca Wölfling from the team around Dr. Jan Beringer therefore had the specific objective of supporting the body's own cooling function in the best way possible through the fast diversion of sweat whilst simultaneously ensuring good heat insulation. "The environmental temperature and the degree of activity of fire-fighters varies greatly depending on the type of deployment. This balancing act can only be achieved via a clothing system based on the onion-skin principle. Accordingly the scientists researched the placement of clothing layers on top of each other which enabled them to solve the complex requirements.

In the laboratory tests two material variants proved to be particularly effective when worn as the clothing layer next to the skin. These were double-face materials with a hydrophobic (water-repellent) inside combined with a hydrophilic (water-attracting) outside. The resulting fast sweat transport away from the body was again significantly improved by the researchers in comparison to functional sports textiles. The same applies for the second material variant which was designed to be completely hydrophobic.

For the next clothing layer, which could in future replace the usual stationwear of professional fire services, the project team investigated the different membrane materials for their ability to absorb sweat and transport it away from the body. Attention was also paid to the heat insulation of this clothing layer. This is very important when using fire extinguishers as an additional barrier against the heat of a fire source and also as cold protection in other rescue scenarios.

In accordance with the title of the research project "Development of a physiologically functional and industrially reprocessable fire-resistant clothing for fire-fighters whilst retaining the protection function and fitness for purpose" the main emphasis of the investigation into outer clothing was the compliance of norms and specifications in relation to flame retardation and warning effectiveness. So that the workwear clothing can be used for as long as possible, these protective effects must not be significantly impaired through any reprocessing, such as washing and drying under the extreme mechanical and thermal conditions of commercial laundries. Therefore the scientists also compared the different materials in relation to these aspects and defined an optimum outer fabric design.

In addition to the laboratory investigations using what is referred to as the Skin Model and the thermal manikin "Charlie" who was used to investigate the thermal-physiological properties of the individual clothing layers and their interplay with each other, the Hohenstein scientists also worked with some test persons. They assisted at the start of the project to test customary fire-fighter suits under real conditions in the climate chamber. The aim here was to obtain subjective assessments of the wear comfort and physiological measurement values and then to add these to the objective investigation results established in the laboratory. The results revealed that fire-fighters wearing the usual suits worn to date start to sweat with moderate physical movement at an environmental temperature of 180C .

Through the wearer trials carried out at the end of the project, the objective measurement results of the optimised products were validated by the personal assessment of the test persons.

Contact:
Dr. Bianca Wölfling
E-Mail: b.woelfling@hohenstein.de
Project partners:
• Eschler Textil GmbH
• Fuchshuber Techno-Tex GmbH
• W.L. Gore & Associates GmbH
• Sympatex Technologies
• Trans-Textil GmbH
• Lion Apparel
• S Gard Schutzkleidung Hubert Schmitz GmbH & Co. KG
• Watex Schutzbekleidungs GmbH
• Tempex GmbH

Andrea Höra | idw
Further information:
http://www.hohenstein.de

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Nanomaterial makes laser light more applicable
28.03.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht New value added to the ICSD (Inorganic Crystal Structure Database)
27.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>