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Space Jackets Down to Earth

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the crossover-tech dept.

87

Roland Piquepaille writes "Several technologies used to design the space suits protecting astronauts are now being adapted to protect workers facing extremely hot and dangerous conditions. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), these 'space-cooled' jackets are using three different technologies: special 3D-textile structure, cooling apparatus derived from astronauts' suits, and a special water-binding polymer acting as a coating. Even if these protective clothes are primarily intended for firefighters or steel workers, several applications are possible, such as in sportswear or in cars as parts of air conditioning systems. Read more for additional details and pictures."

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Sounds Boss (3, Interesting)

RedHatLinux (453603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851700)

I wonder how long until these things get adopted for use in regular clothes.

Re:Sounds Boss (3, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851804)

Just as soon as they can ramp up manufacturing to bring the price down.

There are lots of cool (pun intended) technologies that aren't available because demand isn't high enough to justify investing billions in a manufacturing plant.

Re:Sounds Boss (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851968)

Did you even bother to read the article? (rhetorical quesiton, of course an asshat like you wouldn't!)

The suite doesn't make you magically cool. It just protects the user from sudden heat shocks by using evaporative cooling. Guess what you numbnut, your body already does that. Unless you're planning on lighting yourself on fire (which I sincerely hope you do but that's another thing...) you don't need this suite.

Besides, isn't the temperature of your parent's basement pretty constant?

Re:Sounds Boss (4, Funny)

eh2o (471262) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852143)

Two words. Laptop pants. Ouick, somebody call Steve Jobs! Its not too lata to put the G5 in the macbook!

Re:Sounds Boss (2, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851867)

How are you defining 'regular clothes'?

Indeed, it is likely we will see clothing such as this used by firefighters quite soon, for instance. While that isn't everybody, it would start to bring such textiles into everyday usage.

If such materials are too expensive to be used for consumer-grade clothing, we may initially see it used for items such as cooking gloves. Eventually the technology will be developed further, and likely will become economically feasible for widespread use.

If I had to make a guess as to how long it would take, I would be inclined to think three to five years for more generalized applications, and widespread availability no more than five years after that.

Not just clothing. Computer cooling systems. (1, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851912)

This is the sort of technology that could be very useful for cooling computer componentry. Such fabric could be used to potentially create a "tubing" that could be used to vent the heat from a CPU directly outside a system's case, without the heat transferring to the air within the system.

Even more importantly, such tubing could prove very useful for massive data centres or hosting complexes. The heat from computers could be collected and put to other uses. Some have theorized that it could even be used to generate power, if not used to heat rooms.

Of course, there are many non-computing uses for such a material. It could prove very useful in automobile engines, helping to keep certain components cool while also being used to pipe unwanted heat away from other machinery.

And beyond that, heating ducts made of such a material may prove useful in homes. If they manage to retain the heat better than existing ducting, we could see a tremendous drop in home heating expenses. Likewise, curtains made of this material may further help keep homes in hot climates colder, by insulating against heat.

Re:Sounds Boss (1)

TheSpoogeAwards (589343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851971)

Are you one of these "trolls" I've been hearing about?

Re:Sounds Boss (0, Troll)

StanVassilevTroll (956384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852070)

probably not, but I am. suck my ass fuckface.

Re:Sounds Boss (1)

bhiggins80 (823525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14853605)

These jackets are nothing new. Michael Jackson has been wearing stuff like this for year!

erm.. (3, Funny)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851701)

Maybe it's just me here but I have a slight problem with the wording of the article.

"special 3D-textile structure"

At what point did we start making 2D clothes? Arn't all clothes and materials 3D by being oh.. part of a realm using 3D form?

Maybe this is just going over my head, but seems like bullshit marketing for idiots to me.

Re:erm.. (1)

MaXiMiUS (923393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851713)

Three words: old video games.

Re:erm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851721)

wow you're kind of dense...

Re:erm.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851750)

Please pay more attention to the intention behind people's language. You should know perfectly well what their use of "3-D clothing" means. It shows that they are designing the structure of the fabric instead of using layers of a single fabric type. Regular T-shirts can be sufficiently described as being "a human shaped roll of 2-D wool" or whatever. While you have found a technical error in their language usage, you would paradoxically have to be a moron to not understand their intention.

-Not bother with creating an account so sue me

Re:erm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851752)

Listen and learn:
-------
Frink: [drawing on a blackboard] Here is an ordinary square....
Wiggum: Whoa, whoa - slow down, egghead!
Frink: ... but suppose we extend the square beyond the two dimensions of our universe, along the hypothetical z-axis, there.
Everyone: [gasps]
Frink: This forms a three-dimensional object known as a "cube," or a "Frinkahedron" in honor of its discoverer, n'hey, n'hey.
-----

Re:erm.. (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851755)

I don't know exactly what they mean but I guess the fabric comes in a block form that they might carve into a suit rather than a flat cloth that gets sewn.

Re:erm.. (1)

JRGhaddar (448765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851761)

Here's my guess as to what "3d Textile Structures" means

2d Textile Structures is in regards to the process of weaving fibers together that being the most common way to create a textile.

I think the Special 3d way is by making actual fiber like cell structures on a microscopic level and binding those together. Think tempurpedic memory foam etc.

That's just my guess can anyone please shed a little more light on this?

Re:erm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851778)

When you obviously understand what was meant by the article then don't let someone else's mistake trip you up. You are correct, although who knows exactly what method they are using the make the 3-D fabric.

-Same anonymous coward.... 2 times sounds lazy

Re:erm.. (4, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851821)

Traditional fabrics are woven in 2 dimensions. Consider cloth a plane, a 2 dimensional entity. It is wrapped about a 3-D body to create a piece of clothing. Cloth is very 2-dimensional.

Instead here the fabrics are being considered in three dimensions from square one - their manufacture is in three directions to provide sweat wicking and other interesting properties.

Re:erm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852109)

FUCK!

Err, no. (1)

ghjm (8918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852446)

Weaving would be impossible in two dimensions. A loom has vertical threads all parallel to each other. The weave is created by passing horizontal threads alternately in front of and behind the vertical threads. In two dimensions, once you had the vertical threads set up, you would not be able to pass any horizontal threads through them because two objects can't occupy the same space at the same time. You need a third dimension for the weave to exist in.

There's a big difference between "flat" and "2d."

-Graham

Re:Err, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14853653)

So... to make 3D cloth we need a 4D loom ??

Huh? What was that noise? (3, Funny)

FF8Jake (929704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851732)

Can anyone say "Sneaking Suit"? *hides in a cardboard box labeled "Nuclear Warhead Storage Building"*

Re:Huh? What was that noise? (1)

ROFLMAObot (891386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851980)

What was that just now?

Synthesizers rule! It's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (2, Insightful)

Wayne_Knight (958917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851748)

The only experience Europe has with space travel is situated in Sweden, and they have very long hair and annoying synth lines. Why doesn't the Europe Space Agency just save some of their taxpayer's money and ask NASA how they accomplished this AMAZING FEAT back in the 1980's?

But seriously, you'd think Europe would want to streamline their space budget since they're planning on releasing a technology to compete with the United States' GPS system, but if they keep throwing away money like this it won't happen anytime soon.

Space travel has not progressed like it should have in the decades following the amazing progress of the 1960s. Hell, it hasn't progressed like the exploration of the New World in the 1500s.

I feel that it is because we (as in, both Europe and the U.S.) have become completely and hopelessly terrified of danger. Many men and women died in those eras exploring the great unknown. But without their sacrifice, we would never have been able to accomplish what we have.

Apollo 1, The Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia's losses were all tragic. And I am NOT saying that their loss should be shrugged off as "eh, someone had to die to explore space." What I am saying is that we as humans needed to grow and explore space, much as the Europeans needed to grow and explore beyond their continent. When there was a tragic event in colonial exploration (Jamestown), those people learned from their mistake and tried again and usually succeeded. When we fail today, we usually cower up and shut down all exploration for a half-decade or so.

It's actually a bit sad how Europe is learning from the mistakes made in the United States. A few years ago it was the other way around. Re-inventing the wheel doesn't make driving any safer, and considering the wheel (in this case, the spacesuit) is the LEAST of space travelers' worries, I cannot see our presence in space advancing much further.

Re:Synthesizers rule! It's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851776)

you'd think Europe would want to streamline their space budget

We did. Space launches were banned for a decade. We celebrated the last launch before the ban with the "final countdown".

Re:Synthesizers rule! It's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (2, Interesting)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851904)

I feel that it is because we (as in, both Europe and the U.S.) have become completely and hopelessly terrified of danger.

Could it also be because we've realized that there's actually not a hell of a lot out there to explore? In the 1960's everyone was so excited about space because we'd never made it that far off the planet, but now that it's been done... there's not a lot to do out there except keep some interesting zero-g science experiments running. (It is a vaccuum after all... by definition, somewhat empty of interesting stimuli.)

The next important milestone in space exploration will be getting a man to Mars (and back). However, the technical problems in doing so are vastly more difficult than getting to the Moon, and that was hard enough as it is. And the fact is, once we get there, there's nothing financially benificial in it, so there's hardly a commercial reason to pursue this goal, except tourism, perhaps, but I doubt that tourism dollars can possibly fund a trip to Mars.

I'm as disapointed as you are. I really hope to see a man on Mars within my lifetime, I think this would be absolutely fantastic. However I think it's a bit of an oversimplification to say that we haven't done anything merely because we're "scared of space".

Re:Synthesizers rule! It's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852253)

I disagree that the next major milestone is a manned mission to Mars. IMHO the next milestone for human space exploration will be the one that opens the doors wide... The first commercially profitable space mission. Well, okay, not the first, but putting satellites up doesn't count.

Seriously, it'll turn out to be something like asteroid mining (automated of course) that will get the money flowing in that economical sector.

THEN comes the manned mission to Mars, along with a profitable reason to do it.

Oh, and while I'm pulling stuff out of my ass like this, I'd like to see some sort of solar farm placed into orbit... Just a huge array of solar panels floating around out in space, storing (batteries, something better?) or beaming (large masers or something) sweet sweet electrical goodness to us generated by Helios, our built in fusion furnace (and so much more, the sun rocks).

See what happens when you post under the influence.

Re:Synthesizers rule! It's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14853671)

You might be right!

Re:Synthesizers rule! It's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851995)

Note that the explorers in the past had to worry about material but not about the crew - skilled sailors were hardly rare. Now look at our astronauts: They need to be well-educated and in excellent physical as well as psychical condition and have to have the balls and discipline to go up there, spend months in a tiny space and do little but work every day. Also they require an extensive and costly training. When an unmanned rocket blows up that sucks and it's hideously expensive, but when a manned rocked blows up we lose astronauts, which are not only hideously expensive but also quite hard to acquire.

Back in the Seventies it was okay to blow up a few people trying to do something in or with space because back then nobody cared about things like profitability. Good for science, but nowadays inacceptable as profitability is quickly becoming the one value above all others.

Re:Synthesizers rule! It's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (2, Insightful)

thogard (43403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851999)

Why doesn't the Europe Space Agency just save some of their taxpayer's money and ask NASA how they accomplished this AMAZING FEAT back in the 1980's?

Maybe NASA won't tell them? A while ago a friend told me that the tech behind the US space suits was still classified. Apparently it was classified because it was assumed that the Russians hadn't figured out how to use Peltier Effect devices in a space suit and used normal compressors to cooling. He claimed that there had been an active misinformation campaign at NASA to help hide this fact that included bad technical drawings of suits using larger cooling systems and even fake suits built for traveling museums. He learned from one of the Russian space suit designers the reason they didn't use the Peltier Effect devices is that they thought their compressor systems were more reliable and didn't have as high of a thermal stress risk.

As far as Apollo 1 was concerned... the same guy was part of the team that had done the fire risk analysis for earlier spacecraft and somewhere along the line the details got lost when it came to Apollo. I know many of the engineers that were involved at the Cape when that happened went to their graves with a nagging feeling that it was their fault the problem hadn't been caught before the disaster.

Re:Synthesizers rule! It's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (1)

Voltageaav (798022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852036)

I'm not scared. I'm perfectly willing to brave the dangers to go to Mars for The U.S., Science, and Humankind...(And Women... And Endorement Deals... :P)

Re:Synthesizers rule! It's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (2, Informative)

TERdON (862570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852089)

Yeah, Esrange indeed is the only place AFAIK in Europe where rockets are shot. Or perhaps you heard about French Guyana? Even if it's not exactly in Europe (well, it IS in France, so you could argue that politically, it is), it's a lot closer to the equator, where it is a lot more efficient to launch rockets - you can use the earth's rotation as a help to save rocket fuel. And indeed, ESA has a base there. Surprising.

what a surprise (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851753)

ScuttleMonkey posts another Roland Piquepaille story.

Re:what a surprise (0, Offtopic)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851766)

Well atleast it wasn't **BADGERS-BADGERS or w/e his name was.

Re:what a surprise (0, Offtopic)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851805)

Roland Piquepaille no longer links to his blog, however, but directly to the stories. What exactly is the problem now?

Re:what a surprise (0, Offtopic)

biocute (936687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851834)

The problem is he still does, except he's using a ZDNet blog as a smoke screen, and in that blog, it invites readers to visit his primidi site.

Re:what a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851951)

This story; his name; now links to his blog. So, I guess, your point is wrong: Roland Pewaukee links to his own blog. Didn't take much clicking to find that out.

Bully Protection (2)

Musc (10581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851772)

Would these be useful for young nerds to wear to school, as a protection against bullies.
Imagine being a bully taking a nice swing at your gut, when his hand his stopped by space-age meteor
shielding!

Maybe we can get thinkgeek to carry it....

Re:Bully Protection (1)

microarray (950769) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851779)

"Imagine being a bully taking a nice swing at your gut, when his hand his stopped by space-age meteor shielding!"

Well, I think that sending your child to school in bully-proof, shiny reflective crinkly coating will just invite bullies to field test the stuff. Punches don't work? Lets try tables. Tables thrown at his head!! :D

Re:Bully Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851946)

Dare I say it, but technology cannot provide protection against bulling, its a social problem.

Re:Bully Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14853783)

Gee, I'd say the semiautomatic is a technology. Therefore is it not a technological solution?

Re:Bully Protection (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852825)

I doubt it. Thinkgeek only carries (desirable) useless crap and caffeinated products. This, unfortunately, is neither useless nor caffeinated. Unless it has a Bawls cooler/dispenser built in... hmm... I think we're on to something.

Re:Bully Protection (1)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852970)

In 7th grade I had a wooden belt buckle that once served that function for me. I was a Kiss fan back then, but couldn't afford a Kiss belt buckle that I wanted. So I made my own by burning the Kiss logo into a piece of wood with a soldering iron, then stained and varnished it and put the necessary hardware on the back to make it functional. I did a fairly nice job on it, actually, though that didn't make it any less dorky. But dorky or not, I was glad to be wearing it when a bully took a swing at me and ended up cradling his knuckles in pain.

Forget the clothes... (0, Offtopic)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851773)

I want some Space Sticks. You remember them from when you were a kid? Chocolate and peanut butter flavors. Mmmmmmm!

Re:Forget the clothes... (1)

srwood (99488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851835)

Get'um here:

http://www.funkyfoodshop.com/spacefood/ [funkyfoodshop.com]

Re:Forget the clothes... (1)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851922)

That link does not have them for sale yet. They claim they will be getting them some time in the future. Not going to hold my breath waiting for that. :)

Rolands template (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851789)


gues who's posts come up on a google phrase search on

read more for additional details [google.com]

Sad that Slashdot keep accepting stories from this spammer, a billion websites with billions of articles and we have to have the same names/spammers/copy&pasters/desperate individuals crap over and over again

no wonder people block adverts here and dont subscribe, try adding value to this site and listening to your potential audience, it might give people an incentive to help this place and donate/unblock ads instead of being teated as fskin idiots ready to lap up whatever shite some shill is pushing (in this case that advert application called ZDNet)

AC

Page with the actual jacket (4, Informative)

HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851796)

Re:Page with the actual jacket (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852002)

That jacket looks suspiciously like something from an old science fiction movie...

Re:Page with the actual jacket (1)

Shanesan (955683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852414)

I thought that jacket looked more like one of Michael Jackson's many suits.

AW alert. (2, Insightful)

acid_zebra (552109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851861)

"Roland Piquepaille writes"... that put me off, right there.

Yes this is a troll. But Roland is an attention whore. It's worth the karma burn.

Re:AW alert. (0, Offtopic)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852390)

"Yes this is a troll. But Roland is an attention whore. It's worth the karma burn."

When you clicked on the story to get to the comments section, Slashdot served up at an ad. When you clicked on reply, you had Slashdot serve up yet another ad. The karma you (b)earned gave Slashdot a good reason to continue posting 'his' stories. In your position, I'd re-evaluate whether it was worth it or not.

Re:AW alert. (1)

acid_zebra (552109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14853244)

Since I use firefox plus adblock I see none of these ads. I imagine most people do the same these days.

Some obvious suggestions (1)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851880)

for cool geek applications:
  • If you can use embedded tubes for cooling, you can use them for heating, as well. The problem with cold-weather gear is the extremities (that would be feet and hands). Gloves and boots with heat pumped from the torso might work.
  • I'm interested in any protective armor that I can wear under my civilian clothes, so that when I appear in my true identity as Havoxx, Lord of the Elements, my foes will scatter like vermin before me.
  • Skin-covering beachwear. It gets so hot at the beach wearing cords and flannel, and this NASA cooling technology sounds like the answer, to me.

Re:Some obvious suggestions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851911)

Mod parent up please.

It is I Lord Havoxx, your only true servent.

Re:Some obvious suggestions (0, Offtopic)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851958)

It is I Lord Havoxx, your only true servent.

While I appreciate your loyalty, nameless one, it's "Havoxx, Lord of the Elements", never "Lord Havoxx". Let's watch that.

Re:Some obvious suggestions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14860426)

Gloves and boots with heat pumped from the torso might work. Don't most humans already come equiped with a system for pumping heat from the torso to the hands and feet? I beleive it's called a "cardio-vascular system"...

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851926)

Linux is STILL for fags.

I am a firefighter - and I find this suspect. (5, Informative)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851961)

When I go into a building with uncontrolled fire I have gear currently weighing between 60 and 80 pounds. This includes a pants and jacket made with a gnomex fabric, traditional helmet, heavy leather boots with steel under the foot, in the toes, and at the shins (which is nice when you bark your shin on a ladder). I'm wearing on my back an air bottle and SCOTT pack good for 30 minutes or so (a full hour if I'm acting as a member of a Rapid Intervention Team - RIT). My face is covered with mask that allows me to use that air, and I'm wearing a carbon fiber hood that encircles the mask and covers my head and neck. Long leather gloves cover my wrists to the inside of my jacket. I am "Fully Encapsulated".

I am fairly safe from heat and smoke up to the point of a 'flashover' -- in which case I have between 4 and 16 seconds to be somewhere else before being incinerated. I am so well protected, that many of the guys refuse to wear the hood or else won't fold down the leather flaps on the helment to cover their ears further because their warning for when the heat is too intense is when their ears start to feel too hot even through the protection.

In addition to all this, I am carrying one or more of the following: Radio, Light, Axe (or other similar tool), Water Can, Thermal Imaging Camera, escape rope, hose line.

Exactly how is it that this fancy jacket or undershirt is going to help me? I'm hot, but not so much that I can't make it through the 20 minutes in there. When I come out, I am handed a 20oz bottle of water and expected to finish it on the spot while having my pulse and respiration checked before even considering going back in.

This jacket would supposedly protect me from flashover -- several thousand degrees where anything that can combust, will.

BULLSHIT.

Even if the jacket worked, my face mask would melt to my face while the straps on my airpack along with the protective clothing I'm wearing would literally disintegrate.

The way to be protected from a flashover is to jump out the nearest window or to use the axe you're carrying to make a hole in the exterior wall and dive through it. That's pretty much it. When it comes to flashover -- Don't be there. If you are there, get out. I've taken classes that involved practing the fine art of going out a second floor window head first onto a ladder and flipping over, or slamming an axe into a wall braced across the corner of a window, tieing off a big of rope to it and bailing out the window -- even if its just to hang 20 or 30 feet down from the room where the flashover is about to happen until someone gets around to moving a ladder to you.

Don't believe this crap that a little water held in that jacket is going to help.

Re:I am a firefighter - and I find this suspect. (1)

Shadow Of The Sun (951477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852025)

You just need to add Iron Rations to the list of equipment, and you are ready to head off to the UnderDark.

Or perhaps, to go after Red Dragons.

hanging out a window (1)

m4c north (816240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852084)

This jacket would supposedly protect me from flashover -- several thousand degrees where anything that can combust, will.

When it comes to flashover -- Don't be there. If you are there, get out. I've taken classes that involved practing the fine art of going out a second floor window head first onto a ladder and flipping over, slamming an axe into a wall braced across the corner of a window, tieing off a big of rope to it and bailing out the window -- even if its just to hang 20 or 30 feet down from the room where the flashover is about to happen until someone gets around to moving a ladder to you.

Hopefully the rope won't combust.

Re:hanging out a window (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852105)

Hopefully the rope won't combust.

No no no, when you leap out the window, your momentum carries you out, then the rope draws you back towards the building, through the window two floors below, where you land on a conference table. Only its not so cool when the evil corporate raiders aren't there to see your stunning entrance.

Funny you say that...my instructors covered that.. (3, Funny)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852121)

During the training for that kind of move (which actually isn't QUITE that dramatic) we were told quite clearly that the exit procedure was very dangerous and should only be done in one of two cases....

a) the room is about to flashover

b) there is a news crew out side -- it looks GOOD on film.

Hopefully, it wont. It was expensive rope. (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852115)

Kidding aside, a rope bag with 40' of heat resistant static line strong but thin enough to be useful isn't cheap.

Re:I am a firefighter - and I find this suspect. (5, Interesting)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852293)

Just wanted to say, your department really needs to get with the times and I would also recommend a department subscription to Fire Engineering magazine and a complete set of IFSTA and NFPA manuals.

You should know that there are modern methods of combating flash over. The first is to ventilate the structure and the second is to use short burst of spray from a 60 degree fog nozzle which cools the unburned particles of combustion (aka smoke) just enough to eliminate flashing but not so much that the smoke banks downward. The latter is known as the 'Swiss' method because it was developed by Swiss engineers and firefighters.

You should also know that leather boots are not recommended for structure firefighting by the NFPA. Your department should be wearing bunker boots, we wore Fire-Walker bunker boots made by Ranger Footwear, and Nomex pants jackets and hoods.
I don't know of a fire department anywhere that still wears 'traditional' firefighting helmets with leather ear protectors, except yours, I guess. Most department have been wearing composite helmets with face shields and Nomex ear protectors.

Everything I've described here is 'old' technology.

Oh, and sticking a pick-headed ax in a wall, tying a rope to it and jumping out a window to escape a flash over? Sounds like something someone pulled out of their ass.

By the way, over a 24 year period I was a Firefighter I, II, III, Firefighter/Paramedic, Fire Specialist, Fire Engineer and Engine Company Captain. I've been retired for 8 years.

MOD PARENT UP - It's really interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852334)

Really!

It is!

RTFA -- it claims to protect you from flashover. (4, Interesting)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852355)

regardless of the moronic and inciteful way you made it, you're point is accurate if we're talking about how to PREVENT flashover. It is NOT, however, what the FA is about.

The story (and Slashdot isn't the place I read it first -- I think Science Daily covered it earlier in the day) claims the suit will protect firefighters during flashover.

If you've cooled the overhead there IS NO flashover. If you've vented right, there is no flashover.

If someone doing a search gets too hot and decides to break a window before you're ready to vent -- you may set the stage for something that this suit is NOT going to help protect you from. THATS my point.

As to using a pick headed axe to get out? Putting the Axe across the corner of the window and using your own weight to hold it while you bail is a well known practice. I've done it in training, from a second floor, with a blindfold (and a safety line). I've done it over, and over, and over. I've done it using a figure 8 and my built in harness, and I've done it without a figure 8 just looping the rope around my back and using my gloved hands for the friction device.

On your last comment, my copy of the NFPA Essentials guide is 3 feet to my right.

moronic (2, Insightful)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852603)

Okay, I was a little harsh. Probably why I never made B/C because I always spoke my mind. However, you never enter a structure without an attack line and any firefighter worth his salt can see a flash-over develop, as I have many times. So, I really don't understand your point or where you are coming from at all. Also, I still say this out the window escape is bogus. Imagine being exhausted, wet leather gloved hand holding a combination tool or pick-headed ax in the corner of a window you just broke, and cleaned of course, and hanging your body weight outside. I'm thinking broken wrist, maybe a silver fork fracture and a fall to the ground. Oh, you said safety rope. Let's see, emanant flash-over, and you have time to break a window, clean the corner of shards, tie a safety rope? I don't think so babe. This might work at the drill tower but this isn't good fireground practice and if I were on your department it would be eliminated.

I wish I could share some video with you (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14853403)

..I have seen (but don't own) video taken at several scenes where flashover has killed firefighters. There was an interview with a rare survivor -- he had made two jumps to a doorway when two of his crew were further in and could not. I think he was from Houston. The point is it does happen and depending on the construction of the building and the nature of the first response, it can happen. We take big risks if we can potentially save lives. We take smaller risks to save pets and minimal risks to save structures.

In New England, you're dealing with 200 year old wood frame structures -- often with balloon construction and no insulation. Fire and gasses can travel. At the same time you may have a poor initial response with a rural department. If you've got people trapped on a second floor, sometimes you may start in before your back up is quite ready. "2 in / 2 out" is a nice rule. We try to stick to it. The first 10 minutes can be dicey.

The safety line is for drills. The drills were done with our vision impared (hoods over masks). We'd go in a ladder, simulate doing a search, and at a command to "bail" find the window and exit. For the drill, we'd wait for an extra tap from the safety officer indicating a line had been clipped on. Obviously in the real thing you would not.

In fact -- here is a picture, clearly showing it (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852383)

FYI - the guy holding thd rope is FDNY if I recall (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852486)

This particular class (which I was in) was taught by some guys from NY, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami if I remember. Even the red haired kid that looks like he couldn't be more than about 14 did all these things.

Re:I am a firefighter - and I find this suspect. (1)

njh (24312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852353)

You might be a firefighter, but you're not a rocket scientist, or a materials engineer. Perhaps they've actually tested this material? You might be surprised at how much energy evaporating water can take away. 2.2MJ/kg

Actually, I'm required to know that... (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852407)

..Part of the first bit of training you get covers this. It also covers the expansion of water as it turns to steam (I believe it was 1700 times the volume).

Point is, however:

A) How much more do you think I can carry and still hope to pull someone else out? Water is HEAVY.

B) What good is a cool suit if the mask I'm wearing melts off my face?

Material science can be what it is -- but I still have to look out through the mask on my face. That presents a limit that is tough to beat. Until Scotty beams down and shows us how to make transparent aluminium or something -- we're going to have a hard time standing in a room that flashes over.

True, the guys at the airport wear the silver suits that can (I'm told) handle insane amounts of heat. They can't be effectively used for structural firefighting however.

Re:Actually, I'm required to know that... (1)

njh (24312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852740)

The exapnsion depends on the pressure and temperature (PV = nRT). At the higher temperatures in a fire the water might expand 20000 times.

I think you are right, the problem in a fire is the radiant energy (hence the silver suits. Conduction (negligable) and convection (minor) can be handled by suitably foamly materials, but radiation will melt your mask in no time flat.

I guess you might be able to partially mirror the outside of the mask to help this.

Convection absolutely counts too... (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14853419)

Convection doesn't really create the kind of turbulance you'd see in a liquid, but unless someone screws up and just starts putting too much water on the smoke and destroys the thermal layering, it can be hundreds of degrees hotter at your head high than at your feet. The rule generally goes "if you can't see your feet, crawl". In a fire where the thermal layering isn't artificially destroyed or one that is being vented once attack starts, you can sometimes see clearly at foot level and not at all at knee, waist, or head level (depending on conditions).

In one case, I remember a clear line of delination so perfect that I could put my mask halfway up into the smoke layer and see a line across the mask. Clear below, pitch black above.

It was a training excersize in a real house which had been donated and was one of the first times I'd been inside a burn building. It was VERY educational. When you hear a firefighter talk about "crawl out of the building" its not kidding or a joke. Get on your hands and knees and crawl. Even if you can still walk, crawl. The gasses in the room that you're breathing will leave you confused and overcome often before you start coughing. On the other hand, you can usually find enough air to crawl out untill the structure is very heavily involved. You may have to suck that air through the carpet, but there is air being drawn in toward the flames -- or they'd go out.

Re:Convection absolutely counts too... (1)

njh (24312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14856321)

Thanks for the interesting post. I was referring to convection as a heat transfer mechanism to protective clothing, where it is fairly minor compared to the radiation. What you are referring to is actually 'stratification', where different temperature fluid separates out.

Doh! -- my mistake (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857128)

My terms may not agree with the once used as scientists study heat transfer. The primary sources of heat we face come from the following:

- Superheated air & gasses from the source of the fire. The fire itself is (except on TV) usually in one place. We spend a lot of effort getting to the fire, crawling under hot gasses and smoke. We also spend a lot of effort doing searches in parts of the building not on fire but heavy with heat and smoke. I've been considering this convection.

- Heat radiated directly from visible flames, obviously. By the you get to this, you should be putting water on it though, and if it doesn't dampen down pretty quickly you've got something else going on and need to re-evaluate your location.

- Steam. Steam may not be as hot as fire, but its hot. Its also pervasive. If the room you're in fills with steam, you can get burned on any part of you not covered by your gear. A small part of your wrist where the glove isn't put on right, for example, can result in a burn on your wrist.

** Different construction makes a big difference though. I'm talking about fighting fire in New England, where you have mostly older wood construction, multistory family houses with basements and attic spaces as well as multiple stairways, odd closet spaces and additions and rooms that are accessed through other rooms.

I noticed when I was in Europe that so many of the structures are brick or stone of one kind or another that I'd imagine its a very different set of problems. That stonework itself won't burn and won't vent much by itself. I'd guess they don't loose the structures that often, but those room and contents fires must get insanely hot really fast with the heat radiating back from the stonework. On the west coast of the US, from what I hear they're mostly dealing with single story modern wood construction. There's usually no upstairs living space or basement to worry about. The floor doesn't drop out from under you, there's no basement fire, and people aren't trapped in the 2nd floor bedrooms. The newer construction also tends to mean there are cross pieces in the wood framing that prevent the fire from traveling quite as quickly up the side of the building to a next floor when there is one. On the other hand, newer construction means trussed roofs. Roof trusses are put together with metal butt-plates. Unfortunately, these can fail after just 15 minutes of heat making it very dangerous to enter the building to fight the fire or do a search.

The point I'm making is that any generalization you make about firefighting is probably wrong for somewhere. To me, some of the most dangerous residential firefighting sounds like it would the multi-story wood frame row houses you see so often on the east coast in poorer parts of cities. They're big and dangerous wood structures. Any bigger or more modern and you start seeing building codes that really help. They have strange modifications in them, are close together, and sometimes you see "Single Room Occupancies" where people have illegally subdivided by putting up "walls" with plywood and a padlock. I know of one case not far from me were related families had up and downstairs appartments -- so they just cut a whole in the floor of the upstairs one and passed a ladder between them to make one unit.

The big trick to interior firefighting is timing. If you vent the roof too soon, you allow the air to flow before you're really attacking and you can burn up everyone inside. If you don't vent soon enough, you've got problems with steam conversion if you've got water, or flashover if you don't. Ideally, you want to vent at about the same time you're getting water to the flames, so that the steam expansion uses up the energy in fire and pushes the smoke out the vent. Position is everything. You really don't want to be between the fire and the vent.

Re:I am a firefighter - and I find this suspect. (1)

Chiggy_Von_Richtoffe (565992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14865073)

[Quote]:
Exactly how is it that this fancy jacket or undershirt is going to help me? I'm hot, but not so much that I can't make it through\nthe 20 minutes in there. When I come out, I am handed a 20oz bottle of water and expected to finish it on the spot while having my pulse and respiration checked before even considering going back in.

This jacket would supposedly protect me from flashover -- several thousand degrees where anything that can combust, will.

BULLSHIT.

Even if the jacket worked, my face mask would melt to my face while the straps on my airpack along with the protective clothing I'm wearing would literally disintegrate.
[End Quote]

While I agree that this is bullshit, what they are actually referring to is as a precaution against steam burns as well as a way to keep core temperature down during smells and bells calls. Unfortunately once you enter a heated environment the tubing will melt, ruin your bunker gear (can you say expensive) and the water that leaks out will boil you alive like this potato [lifehacker.com] . Btw what state is 339? New Jersey 161 here.

this sentence no verb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851989)

Space Jackets Down to Earth

Space(subject) Jackets(verb) Down(object) to Earth

that doesn't make sense.. how can space jacket something? and why would it jacket down?

I hope Slashdot gets paid for these site shills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852062)

Lets see, one link to Wonald's blog site at ZDNet, which has 7 links to Wonald's link farms at de.licio.us, which in turn have 10 links per page back to Wonald blogs at Primidi and de.licio.us.

We're fick, but we're not as fick as the SlashRon collective thinks we are.

I need one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852162)

My pentium chip is way too hot! Can't I use this as a jacket to keep it from warming up my case too?

They aren't available yet?? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852313)

But I thought these [aerostich.com] were starship uniforms! (Especially these radioactive ones! [aerostich.com] ) I was so robbed!

I'm a firefighter, and I hope this works (4, Interesting)

MikeyTheK (873329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852564)

Ugh. I literally JUST got back in the door from a structure fire (sorry, no links to pictures yet, but they'll be up in the morning at www.kuhlhosefire.org). My bunker gear was sopping wet when I finished my second bottle, and we were just doing RIT/overhaul! (Uh, sorry, overhaul is what you do when the main fire is out and you find all the hot spots and burning debris and put it out so that you don't get called back three hours later once everyone is home in bed).

There are a couple of major issues that this technology might address that would be helpful.
1) At hazmat incidents, turnout gear is frequently inappropriate. The people doing the hot zone work are in "level 1" suits, which are fully encapsulated. However, level 1 suits are HOT, and level 1 techs are hard to come by. This might make it easier for level 1 techs to stay in the hot zone for longer periods of time or perform more evolutions.
2) For my brother firefighter who pointed out that structural firefighting gear including nomex hoods provide inadequate protection for flashover (or getting steamed by the idiot outside who started squirting when we're inside), imagine having a level-1 type of setup for fighting fire. Your hands and head are no longer the most vulnerable because with this new technology your whole body is being cooled actively. I realize that level 1 is bulky and wouldn't be appropriate NOW, but if the technology is available someone will figure out a way...
3) Barn fires in August just KILL crews. If you're standing outside in the sun for any length of time in turnout gear, you get completely baked. This might make it easier for us to endure fires in summer.
4) Brush fires suck. SOG for departments that don't have nomex jumpers for fighting brush fires are to wear FF boots, turnout pants, and gloves. So you're slogging around through chest-high red brush getting cut to hell, a mile off the road, getting your ass kicked in your heavy gear, taking a shovel, axe, or if you're a rookie an Indian Can strapped to your back. Again, it doesn't take long to get overheated. Maybe not any longer.

I hope that the technology performs. I'm whipped.

When I first saw the story I thought... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14853078)

..gee, hope it's not a real cooling vest for pilots of a real version of this: http://www.mechdropzone.com/images/mechs/atlas.gif [mechdropzone.com]

Then I thought nah, I'd never believe I wouldn't be happy to see one of those for real. :D

War with these things *would not* be something to be happy about being anywhere near I'd imagine, though.

(Yes, I know about the one a guy was building in Alaska or something, not quite the same as a fusion-powered fully-functional example.)

Strat

New Fashion Trend (1)

MonkeysKickAss (735143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14853609)

So is 50 cent and Phat Farm already have the rights chrome limited editions

In related news... (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857523)

Nasa Budgets Cancels Missions [slashdot.org]

Yea, the gov't keeps axeing NASA's budget (not that gov't money is every actually spent in a wise or thrifty manner...you know $100 hammers). So while we appreciate things like this, and we take it for granted - make no doubt NASA has made many inventions that were adopted into our everyday lives:
Asbestos suits for firefighters
Water Filtration systems ("As used by astronauts")
Microwave technology (the cooking kind)
And I am sure some /.'er will post about 50 other things.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, well there are many necessities in space - and we see a lot of inventions from NASA.

scuba and rebreathers... (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14858083)

As far as I know space-age technology came to scuba diving with rebreathers a long time ago already.

For the unfamiliar: these are the devices, that recycle your air with a "CO2 scrubber" substance, and work with very little additional gas consumption. (film where you can see some of these : The Cave)

if interested, also search for "Rebreathers" or a good guess is "dolphin rebreathers"

cheers
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