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Journal of Porous Media
IF: 1.49 5-Year IF: 1.159 SJR: 0.43 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.58

ISSN Print: 1091-028X
ISSN Online: 1934-0508

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Journal of Porous Media

DOI: 10.1615/JPorMedia.v8.i5.80
pages 511-528

Porous Medium Model for Investigating Transient Heat and Moisture Transport in Firefighter Protective Clothing under High-Intensity Thermal Exposure

P. Chitrphiromsri
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7916, Raleigh, NC 27695-7910

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to understand the performance of firefighter protective clothing in preventing thermal injury of skin that may result from exposure to high-intensity thermal radiation. A mathematical model is developed to study transient heat and moisture transport through multilayer fabric assemblies. The model accounts for changes in thermophysical and transport properties of the fabric due to the presence of moisture. Numerical simulations are performed to study heat and moisture transport in wet fabrics that are subjected to intensive flash fire exposure. The numerical solutions are further analyzed to provide a detailed physical understanding of the transport processes. Moisture in the fabric tends to vaporize starting from the outside surface of the fabric to the inside surface of the fabric during heating, and then part of it recondenses in the interior of the fabric during the cooldown. It is observed that the temperature distribution in the fabric layers and the total heat flux to the skin are significantly influenced by the amount and distribution of the moisture in the protective clothing.


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