NEW: Live Thermo-Man® demonstrations – Testing turnout gear under extreme conditions


This year’s FLORIAN was the first ever attended by one of the world’s leading providers of innovative heat-resistant materials in DuPont, which conducted simulation tests on the Thermo Man® in outdoor area FG3. This involved exposing turnout gear to extreme temperatures of up to 1000°C in a sealed container.

A 1.85-m-tall doll was regularly set alight in this container as a way of testing products. The Thermo-Man® is a life-size doll fitted with 122 heat sensors, and is dressed in test clothing that is then totally set on fire with a propane gas burner. The Thermo-Man® test laboratory tests turnout gear for fire-proofing, and simulates a worst-case scenario – making it one of the world’s most informative instruments for assessing thermal burns.

The test doll was originally developed in collaboration with the US military as a way of protecting soldiers from fire wounds. It is the world’s only mobile solution capable of measuring the resistance of various clothing systems for fire-fighters, industrial workers, the military and police by simulating and analysing a blaze scenario.

FLORIAN attendees were able to get an idea of the various turnout gear items’ fire-resistance during live demonstrations at outdoor area FG3, where the Thermo-Man® and turnout gear were exposed to temperatures of between 600 and 1000°C in a simulated blaze. The sophisticated data-recording system uses the information obtained from sensors to calculate the second and third-degree burns the wearers would have suffered – with the help of skin-injury models developed by the US military and as part of academic research.

The number, location and degree of the burns are shown graphically, and the likelihood of survival calculated based on the results of Burn Association research and taking into account the age of the injured person.

DuPont works closely with yarn manufacturers, weaving mills and clothing manufacturers for this type of testing, in order to enable it to measure and ensure the safety/fire-resistance of the clothing offered.