SDL Atlas Introduces ThermaRate™ Thermal Barrier Test Apparatus

SDL Atlas — a Rock Hill, S.C.-based provider of textile testing instruments — has introduced the ThermaRate™ Thermal Barrier Test Apparatus for measuring the burn injury protection provided by fabrics in protective clothing for first responders, military and industrial applications. The instrument can replicate the effects of fabrics that are close to fires or extreme heat sources but not necessarily engulfed in a fire, as simulated by the Thermal Protective Test (TPP) described in National Fire Protection Association NFPA: 1971 Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting.
The ThermaRate features an automated computer-controlled system with a closed-loop controlled infrared radiant heat source, shutter, fabric sample holder, heat flux gauge and skin simulant sensor, as well as a PC-based data acquisition system with burn injury algorithms. The system allows the user to select the radiant heat flux level at the fabric sample, the irradiation time, and the air gap between the fabric sample and sensors; and choose to use a skin simulant tester or heat flux gauge output in the burn injury algorithm. After the user has selected the input values, placed a fabric sample in the holder, and initiated the sequence, the automated digital data acquisition system records the temporal data and provides graphical outputs during and after the test along with automated archival storage and a green/red indicator on the computer screen indicates whether the fabric has passed or failed the test based on whether the burn injury is below or above second-degree burn injury level in virtually real time.
The instrument may be used for research and development as well as for repetitive use in quality assurance applications.
June 3, 2014