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Test Method applied to evaluate the protection of proximity gear for protection against flames engulfment using an Instrumented Manikin.
The Flash Fire Test is a standard based on the ISO 13506-2:2017 that calculates the heat flux applied to human skin when subject to a fire engulfment in order to calculate burn injuries predictions.
This can occur when the energy is transmitted through and by a garment or a set of protective clothing exposed to flames. Tests cases are provided to check the accuracy of the burn prediction calculation method. On site calibrations of the thermal energy sensors and skin injuries prediction system measuring the heat flux under the garment are also required.
HOW DOES THE FIRE FLASH TEST WORK FOR ISO 13506?
Manikins equipped with sensors will be used to collect the data. They have to comply with international standards such as ASTM F1930 (2018) and ISO 13506 (ISO 13506-1, 2017 ; ISO 13506-2, 2017).
First, the manikin is equipped with flame protective garment. Then, it is placed in the middle of the test chamber. In total, 12 burners are set all around the manikin to produce the flames which will engulf it. The manikin is equipped with 135 copper sensors inserted on its surface, covering the head, hands and feet. The measurement range for the sensors is 0~250 kW/m2 and their response time is less than 0.1 s. The sensors record the temperature and the heat flux every 0.25 s during the exposure to the flames.
After the test trial, a burn calculation is performed, which indicates the level of pain and whether first, second or third degree burns are received by the wearer.
IMPORTANCE OF THE FLASH FIRE TEST FOR FIRE PROXIMITY SUITS
The test provides a detailed simulation of the damage that a person could suffer from exposure to a flash fire or a voluntary penetration of the flames. Once equipped with the appropriate PPE, the data collected on the manikin can be used to measure the performance of the PPE or to detect flaws that could cause injuries in a real-life situation.
These data are essential to the PPE manufacturers in order to predict the performance of their equipment on the field before providing it to firefighters.
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