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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9365814, 13 pages
Research Article

Influence of Initial Moisture Content on Heat and Moisture Transfer in Firefighters’ Protective Clothing

1College of Quality and Safety Engineering, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310018, China
2Key Laboratory of Furniture Inspection Technology of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310018, China
3State Key Laboratory of Fire Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Dongmei Huang

Received 12 September 2016; Revised 17 January 2017; Accepted 22 February 2017; Published 30 March 2017

Academic Editor: Jianlei Niu

Copyright © 2017 Dongmei Huang and Song He. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a model for heat and moisture transfer through firefighters’ protective clothing (FPC) during radiation exposure. The model, which accounts for air gaps in the FPC as well as heat transfer through human skin, investigates the effect of different initial moisture contents on the thermal insulation performance of FPC. Temperature, water vapor density, and the volume fraction of liquid water profiles were monitored during the simulation, and the heat quantity absorbed by water evaporation was calculated. Then the maximum durations of heat before the wearer acquires first- and second-degree burns were calculated based on the bioheat transfer equation and the Henriques equation. The results show that both the moisture weight in each layer and the total moisture weight increase linearly within a given environmental humidity level. The initial moisture content in FPC samples significantly influenced the maximum water vapor density. The first- and second-degree burn injury time increase 16 sec and 18 sec when the RH increases from 0% to 90%. The total quantity of heat accounted for by water evaporation was about 10% when the relative humidity (RH) is 80%. Finally, a linear relationship was identified between initial moisture content and the human skin burn injury time before suffering first- and second-degree burn injuries.