Video presents innovative protective clothing for firefighters
The DIF-Jacket Project consortium, composed by CeNTI, CEFT - Transport Phenomena Research Center, from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), and CITEVE - Centro Tecnológico Têxtil e Vestuário, recently released a video presenting the innovative clothing that is being created within the scope of the research. The video had the special participation of the National (Portuguese) School of Firefighters (ENB).
According to Nelson Antunes, Coordinator of the ENB's Urban and Industrial Fire Training Centre, the most significant difficulties a firefighter is subject to are related to comfort, mobility and thermal stress. In addition to the weight and the fact that the equipment is not practical, these professionals are also subject to high temperatures, which cause high levels of sweat and dehydration.
Thus, the DIF-Jacket aims to develop new personal protective equipment (PPE) that increases firefighters' safety and thermophysiological comfort in several critical firefighting scenarios by applying models and numerical simulation.
In this context, different innovative materials are being tested, with improved thermal management properties, to maximise the protection of the user, optimise thermal comfort and reduce the occurrence of burns. Examples of these materials are phase change materials, capable of absorbing thermal energy from the fire.
With high performance and an optimised design, the multilayer garment results from the experience and technological skills of the three referenced above research centres. CEFT is responsible for creating mathematical models, which allow simulating and evaluating the prototype's performance in realistic scenarios for different types of environments and exposure times.
CeNTI is focused on the research, development and characterisation of the multilayer structure based on the optimisation and characterisation of different innovative materials, evaluating their thermal degradation, thermal and evaporative resistance, maximising ergonomics and fulfilling PPE requirements.
Finally, CITEVE is responsible for clothing design, finding the best way to integrate the selected materials, listening to the firefighters' community and conducting laboratory tests and trials.
The DIF-Jacket is a national Project funded by FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (PCIF/SSO/0106/2018).
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