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Estimates of Thermal Properties for Fire Fighters' Protective Clothing Materials (NISTIR 7282)



James R. Lawson, William D. Walton, Nelson P. Bryner, Francine K. Amon


A series of measurements has been carried out to quantify the thermal properties of materials used to fabricate fire fighters' thermal protective clothing. The thermal property measurements chosen have direct application for use in heat transfer computations that may be used to predict the thermal performance of fire fighters' protective clothing. The thermal properties are: thermal conductivity, specific heat, and the thermo-optical properties of absorptivity, reflectivity, and transmissivity. In addition, the physical property of density was also measured. Since thermal properties vary with ambient temperature conditions, thermal conductivity measurements were made over a range of temperatures from 20 C to 100 C. Specific heat was measured over a range of 0 C to 100 C. The maximum temperature of 100 C was selected because it is below the material's temperature where thermal degradation occurs, and the temperature range used covers the temperatures whereburn injuries occur in human skin. The thermo-optical properties data were generated only at room temperature, approximately 23 C, since the test apparatus was designed to operate at higher temperatures.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7282
Report Number


absorptivity, fire fighters, fires, heat transfer, protective clothing, reflectivity, specific heat, thermal condictivity, transmissivity


Lawson, J. , Walton, W. , Bryner, N. and Amon, F. (2005), Estimates of Thermal Properties for Fire Fighters' Protective Clothing Materials (NISTIR 7282), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created June 1, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017