Thermal textiles used in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are used to protect individuals from the hazards of thermal energy. An analytical model of the diffusion of thermal energy within the fabric was developed to simulate the transfer of thermal energy due to a hot liquid splash. Based on the model results, it was determined that that the use of an orthotropic material in which the thermal conductivities in the radial and axial directions are different can be used to decrease the amount of heat transferred through the fabric and thereby increase amount of protection in PPE. An orthotropic material particularly performs well under situations where splashes are small in size and short in time duration. The increased level of protection may be enough to prevent a second-degree burn as determined by the Stoll criterion for materials in which the radial thermal conductivity is much larger than the axial thermal conductivity. , However, situations with larger splashes over longer duration, the benefits are minimal and at best may reduce the amount of energy transferred over part of the splash site thereby minimizing potential size of burn areas. A semi empirical test method in which analytical results are matched to experimental results by iteratively changing the radial thermal conductivity was presented as a way to extract information about the extent that a fabric is orthotropic. Preliminary results as compared to numerical CFD experimentation show that with a calibrated model, the method has potential of giving good results. Further physical experimentation is recommended to further validate that this method could be of use in determining the extent that a fabric is orthotropic.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





heat transfer, thermal textiles, personal protective equipment, orthotropic, radial thermal conductivity