Hydrothermal ageing of fire protective fabrics and fabrication of end of life sensor

  • Author / Creator
    Saha, Ankit
  • The outer shell of firefighter protective clothing is prepared from high performance polymer fibers such as Kevlar®, Nomex®, PBI, PBO and LCP. They are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and provide protection against service hazards to firefighters. However, these fabrics show continuous deterioration of mechanical properties when exposed to heat, UV, and moisture. This thesis work focusses on studying eight different outer shell fabrics with varying fiber contents and fabric structures in the unaged condition and after immersion of the fabric specimens in water at varying temperatures between 60°C and 90°C for up to 1200 hours. The effect of hydrothermal ageing was studied by analysing the residual tensile strength of these fabric specimens. This study also gives us quantitative information about the effect of fiber content and the influence of fabric structure on the fabric resistance to hydrothermal ageing and creates a foundation for the development of end-of-life sensors for fire protective clothing.
    A second part of the work relates to the development of a fabrication process for the production of robust end-of-life sensors for the outer shell fabrics that can sustain the normal conditions experienced by the firefighter protective clothing. The overarching theme of the work is to develop an end-of-life sensor for firefighter garment, whereas the scope of my thesis study was to develop sensors that are free from premature failure. Specifically, I worked on reinforcing encapsulation by careful selection of electrode materials, developing processing methods, and establishing the testing protocols to monitor the deterioration of the sensor properties. The sensor development work was still in progress at the time of my thesis defense.
    This ageing study provides a basis for understanding the behaviour of these outer shell fabrics when exposed to water to help in estimating the service life of these fabrics and protect firefighters from safety hazards. The sensor study can impact the fields of wearable sensor and e-textiles by providing insights in developing effective encapsulation technologies and in testing the reliability of these devices.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.