Influence of Thermal Shrinkage on Protective Clothing Performance during Fire Exposure: Numerical Investigation
- Ahmed Ghazy
AbstractThe thermal shrinkage of protective clothing during fire exposure plays a crucial rule in reducing the clothing protective performance. The transversal reduction in the fabric perimeter around the body due to the fabric thermal shrinkage causes a dynamic reduction in the air gap between the clothing and the body. This leads to a dynamic change in the heat transfer modes within the gap. Despite of its influential effect on the clothing performance, the thermal shrinkage of protective clothing during fire exposure has not been yet addressed in the literature. This can be attributed to the absence of a gap model that can capture the reciprocal change in heat transfer modes within the gap due to clothing shrinkage. This paper develops a finite volume model to investigate the influence of the fabric thermal shrinkage on protective clothing performance. A special attention was drawn to the model of the air gap between the clothing and skin as it responds directly to the clothing thermal shrinkage. The influence of a variation in the fabric shrinkage rate and the overall reduction in the fabric dimensions was investigated. The paper demonstrates that the clothing protective performance continuously decreases with the reduction in the fabric dimensions while the decay in the clothing protective performance is limited to small shrinkage rates of the fabric. Moreover, this decay in the clothing performance vanishes at high shrinkage rates of the fabric.
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