Experimental verification of a thermal radiation model for human skin heat exposure

Ling Tim Wong, P. S. Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Skin pain and burns at an elevated skin layer temperature due to incident heat flux could be used to evaluate thermal hazards for some enclosed fire environments and mathematical expressions were proposed in literature for fire safety evaluations. In this work, a mathematical model for determining the skin layer temperature due to incident radiant heat flux is examined with experimental verification. Heat balance on the skin layer due to the heat flux and conductive heat transfer through it is considered. Specifically, the skin layer temperature at the head portion of an artificial thermal manikin was measured at certain incident radiant heat flux and compared with that calculated from the mathematical model. The results showed that the predictions were slightly higher than the measured values and the mathematical model would be useful in hazard assessment for some fire environments involving exposure of humans to a thermal radiation. Practical application: This paper presents the temperature measurement at a depth of 0.1 mm under the skin of an artificial thermal manikin's head portion exposed to a vertical heated surface of 699 K in two orientations: facing and sideways to the surface. The result could be a useful source of information for the verification of any classical radiation model application to fire safety designs regarding heat exposure of the head portion of a person to heated surfaces. A mathematical model for determining the skin layer temperature due to incident radiant heat flux was examined. The study showed that the calculations reasonably estimated the skin layer temperature and thus would be useful in hazard assessment for some fire environments and building designs involving exposure of human objects to thermal radiation. Typical examples used in the study, where an evacuee would not experience any skin pain during evacuation, were: an escape corridor with a hot smoke layer in the upper part, and certain evacuation routes close to the hot surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research and Technology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction

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