Thermal Protective Performance under Fire Conditions of Silica Aerogel Felt-bedded Firefighters’ Protective Clothing
The addition of silica aerogel felt (SAF) to firefighters’ protective clothing (FPC) is an innovation with the potential to enhance the thermal insulation capacity of FPC. In order to explore this technology, this paper describes the results of an experiment that determined the thermal protective performance of FPC with SAF under wood crib fire conditions. We also performed an experiment using FPC materials without SAF and compared the results. Finally, we compared the thermal decomposition of commercial thermal liner material and silica aerogel. The results demonstrate that the temperature at the surface of the comfort layer of the SAF-containing sample was lower than that of the commercial sample. This experiment confirms that lower overall temperatures are found on the surface of the comfort layer of the specimen with SAF than on the specimen without SAF, even when the thicknesses of the thermal liner layers are similar. The maximum temperature difference was about 20°C. The thermal protective performance of FPC with SAF increased with increasing SAF thickness, but the increase became very minor when the SAF thickness exceeded 6 mm. Additionally, the thermal stability of silica aerogel is significantly better than that of commercial thermal liner material, reducing the risk of thermal decomposition at high temperatures.
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