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Ann Occup Hyg. 2014 Oct;58(8):1065-77. doi: 10.1093/annhyg/meu052. Epub 2014 Aug 18.

An empirical analysis of thermal protective performance of fabrics used in protective clothing.

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  • 11.Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Human Ecology Building, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2N1, Canada.
  • 22.Department of AESHM, Iowa State University, IA 50011, USA 2.Department of AESHM, Iowa State University, IA 50011, USA


Fabric-based protective clothing is widely used for occupational safety of firefighters/industrial workers. The aim of this paper is to study thermal protective performance provided by fabric systems and to propose an effective model for predicting the thermal protective performance under various thermal exposures. Different fabric systems that are commonly used to manufacture thermal protective clothing were selected. Laboratory simulations of the various thermal exposures were created to evaluate the protective performance of the selected fabric systems in terms of time required to generate second-degree burns. Through the characterization of selected fabric systems in a particular thermal exposure, various factors affecting the performances were statistically analyzed. The key factors for a particular thermal exposure were recognized based on the t-test analysis. Using these key factors, the performance predictive multiple linear regression and artificial neural network (ANN) models were developed and compared. The identified best-fit ANN models provide a basic tool to study thermal protective performance of a fabric.

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.


artificial neural network (ANN); empirical analysis; fabric properties; modeling; multiple linear regression (MLR); predictive models; protective clothing; thermal exposures; thermal protective performance

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