The impact of air gap on thermal performance of protective clothing against hot water spray

Yehu lu, Guowen Song, Jun li, Faming Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The air gap size and distribution developed between clothing and a human body play a critical role in clothing performance, specifically for thermal protective clothing. Hot liquid is considered as one of the common hazards in industrial working environments. In this study, the clothing air layer entrapped between protective clothing and a manikin body was determined using three-dimensional body scanning, and the protective performance provide by the clothing was predicted using an instrumented hot water spray manikin evaluation system. The relationship between the average air gap size and overall protective performance was analyzed. The impact of clothing air gap developed along the human body on predicted burn injury was considered. In addition, the air gap distribution and its relation to skin burn injury were compared for the selected garments. In general, the results indicated that the average air gap size showed positive effects on the overall protective performance. For all body parts except the pelvis, the air gap size presented a significant relationship with the percentage of burn injury. For an individual garment, there was no significant correlation found between the air gap distribution and skin burn injury. The garment with a larger air gap size and minimal air gap changes during hot water spray provided better protective performance. The research findings could provide the technical basis for further development of high performance protective clothing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-721
Number of pages13
JournalTextile Research Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • air gap
  • hot water spray
  • skin burn
  • thermal protective clothing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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