Heat and water vapor transfer behavior of thermal protective clothing is greatly influenced by the air gap entrapped in multilayer fabric system. In this study, a sweating hot plate method was used to investigate the effect of air gap position and size on thermal resistance and evaporative resistance of firefighter clothing under a range of ambient temperature and humidity. Results indicated that the presence of air gap in multilayer fabric system decreased heat and water vapor transfer abilities under normal wear. Moreover, the air gap position slightly influenced the thermal and evaporative performances of the firefighter clothing. In this study, the multilayer fabric system obtained the highest thermal resistance, when the air space was located at position B. Furthermore, the effect of ambient temperature on heat and water vapor transfer properties of the multilayer fabric system was also investigated in the presence of a specific air gap. It was indicated that ambient temperature did not influence the evaporative resistance of thermal protective clothing. A thermographic image was used to test the surface temperature of multilayer fabric system when an air gap was incorporated. These results suggested that a certain air gap entrapped in thermal protective clothing system could affect wear comfort.
The stored energy provided by the fabric assemblies will greatly influence the thermal protection performance (TPP) of firefighters’ protective clothing under low-intensity radiation heat exposure. In this study, two test methods, namely radiant protective performance (RPP) and stored energy test (SET), were used to investigate the TPP of the fabric assemblies. The results indicated that TSET value was lower than TRPP value because of the release of the stored energy in the fabric assemblies after heat exposure. Increasing the fabric layer numbers, air gap between the fabric assemblies would increase the time of TRPP and TSET, indicating that the thermal stored energy weakened the TPP of the firefighters’ protective clothing. Moreover, the TRPP and TSET of the fabric system would be increased when the moisture barrier was cut in the fabric combination system. These findings suggested that stored energy should be considered in analyzing the TPP of fabric assemblies..
Multifunction elastic warp-knitted fabrics were fabricated on a crochet machine with the use of metal composite yarns/viscose yarn and bamboo polyester/ crisscross-section polyester hybrid yarns as the front face and back face of the knitted fabric structure, respectively. We investigated the effect of the blend ratio of bamboo charcoal/ crisscross-section polyester multiply yarns on the fabric's moisture comfort properties, such as water vapour transmission (WVT), water evaporation rate (WER), and water absorbency. The results showed that blending ratio significantly influenced WVT and WER. Moreover, antibacterial activity of the elastic warp- knitted fabric was tested against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in accordance with AATCC 90-2011. Finally, the extension- stress value curves were used to analyse the elastic stretching property, and the fabric exhibited greater breaking elongation and lower stress value in the walewise than in the weft direction.