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Firefighter Nanotechnology

by Akhil Sharma last modified 2015-12-15 07:58


USFA firefighter fatality statistics continue to show over 50% of firefighter deaths annually are due to cardiac and stroke events [1]. As firefighters continue to die from and be injured by these cardiac events on the fireground and afterward, the effects of heat stress have come under examination. Heat stress can increase body core temperature and heart rate. As this happens, a firefighter's performance diminishes and they become more at risk for heat stress-related medical complications and heart attack. This project is to reduce firefighter risks by developing a carbon nanotube fabric and garments thatcool the firefighter to reduce heat stresswhile working [2]. The non-woven sheet can wick perspiration, increase evaporation, and cool the firefighter. Nanotube fabricis also multi-purpose. Itspreads heat to provide uniform isotropic cooling through conduction, convection and radiation, it discharges static electricity, has low specific heat (low thermal mass), is flame resistant, thin, lightweight, and has a large effective surface area. The nano-structured fabric can have high capillarity to wick perspiration away from the body, and permeability to breathe and evaporate perspiration. The fabric can be strong, tough, or moderately elastic by adjusting fabrication parameters. The new fabric will be evaluated to reduce core body temperature, prevent local high heat flux and hot spots, provide burn protection, and reduce heat stress for firefighters. This new apparel can be used by Firefighters, EMS technicians, First Responders, Law Enforcement, Disaster Resilience, Armed Forces, CBN workers, and for Urban Area Protectionand protection from Natural Events.


  2. J. Sullivan, M. Schulz, K. Vemaganti, A. Bhattacharya, B.J. Jetter, V. Shanov, N. Alvarez, Jay Kim, Carbon Nanotube Fabric Cooling System for Firefighters and First Responders: Modeling and Simulation, Journal of Fiber Bioengineering and Informatics, Journal of Fiber Bioengineering and Informatics 8:1 (2015) 1–12, doi:10.3993/jfbi03201501.


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