Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

David A. Lucht, Department Head




Current test methodologies used to evaluate the performance of protective clothing do not adequately determine the provided level of protection. The heat fluxes imposed by current evaluation methods are not specifically related to fire environments typical to those the clothing is designed provide protection against. The U.S. Navy is in the process of developing an improved process for testing the fire resistance of daily wear uniforms and protective gear. The first phase of this project involves evaluating currently used evaluation methods and identifying the severity of fire environments that would be expected aboard Navy ships. The examination of the test protocols currently in use identifies major weaknesses, providing the justification for a new test protocol. The first step in developing an improved test protocol is to determine the types of fire scenarios that would be expected aboard Navy vessels. The nearly infinite number of possible fires are reduced to 6 typical cases involving spray fires, pool fires and furniture fires in both compartmented and unconfined cases. An analysis of the environments produced by these types of fires is presented. The effects of compartmentation parameters are also investigated to determine the critical factors that affect the expected fire environment. Expected heat fluxes for all scenarios are presented at a number of distances from the fire.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Fire Protection Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





heat fluxes, fires, Navy, heat resistance, Ships, Fires and fire prevention