Development of a bench-scale apparatus to assess thermal protective performance of garments under highly intensive heat-flux exposures

S Choi, Sungwook Kang, Rumeel Bhutta, Minjae Kwon, Joungyoon Choi

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1 Citation (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Thermal protective clothing protects emergency responders from fire hazards. The thermal protective performance of the multi-layer fabric is standardly evaluated at the average value of a 1-3-cal/(cm²s)-intensity range. Considering the magnitude of modern fire events, the range’s upper limit (3 cal/(cm²s)) was proposed to take into account a critical radiation condition and a bench-scale apparatus, capable of creating the critical experimental environment, was developed in this study. This instrument includes a vertical configuration heater with an active water-cooling part, a vertical orientation specimen-assembly with a measuring part, a movable specimen-holder and thermal shields operated by pneumatic pumps, an exhaust hood connected to a pan, a data acquisition system, heating-power and mechanical equipment controllers, and a computer with in-house burn-injury analysis software. A preliminary test was conducted to determine a specimen-assembly position that both optimised the heat-source power, heater-capability and apparatus-sustainability, and subsequently validated the uniformity and consistency of irradiance on the test sample. To conduct repeatable measurements, an in-house program was used to operate the heater, specimen assembly and thermal shields semi-automatically, in a sequence. The software includes an algorithm that allows one to analyse heat transfers across human-skin layers and to assess the degree of burn injuries. This paper outlines a comprehensive process of creating an experimental environment for samples that need to be exposed to a critical thermal condition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-479
Number of pages17
JournalMeasurement and Control
Issue number5-6
Early online date6 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 6 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project is funded by NFA(National Fire Agency) and KEIT(Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology) through R&D programmes on Development of Fire Safety Technologies for ESS and Hydrogen Facilities (No.20011579) and for Emergency Response to Fire Hazards (No.20008021).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • Bench-scale apparatus
  • thermal protective fabrics
  • firefighter
  • critical thermal condition
  • testing system
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Control and Optimization
  • Instrumentation
  • bench-scale apparatus


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