A Meta Study of the Relationship Between Phase Change Material Parameters and Temperature Reduction in Fire Fighter Protective Clothing

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Josef Richmond
Lesley Spencer
Tommy Tran
Evan Williams


Firefighters are exposed to high risk scenarios in which the prevention of extreme heat injuries is largely dependent on the effectiveness of their protective clothing. The following meta-study examines contemporary literature to determine the usefulness of phase change materials (PCM’s) in improving the effectiveness of the current firefighter protective clothing (FFPC) model in order to better protect firefighters. The time- temperature for multiple PCM’s in environments with low, medium and high heat fluxes (taken as 2.5-5 kW/m2 for 700 seconds, 10-15 kW/m2 for 300 seconds and 20-40 kW/m2for 30 seconds respectively) were compared in terms of the rate of temperature increase and final temperature. The study found that PCM I produced the best temperature reduction in a low flux, PCM K did so in a medium flux, and PCM B did so in a high flux. The study also found that overall the PCMs were most effective in a low flux, therefore further study should be directed towards creating PCMs that are more effective in high-flux environments.

Keywords: Phase Change Material; Fire Fighter Protective Clothing; Heat Flux


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