Tyndale is known for being a leading provider of AR / FR clothing. Did you know we also perform flash fire testing to ensure the FR garments we sell perform as expected under real-world conditions? In today’s FR FAQ, we explore why and how Tyndale creates flash fire demonstrations.
You may have seen our extensive video library of flash fire demonstrations on our website. These tests were not conducted in an ASTM F1930 laboratory, but instead at a full-scale, massive, outdoor propane-fueled flash fire testing field. These demonstrations are as close to real as it gets, begging the question, why and how did we accomplish this?
Let’s join Tyndale’s Vice President of Technical, Scott Margolin, as he explains how we set up these demonstrations and why performing full-scale testing is such an important investment.
Why do we have these tests?
We’ve found the visual aspect of these tests – video – is a powerful teaching tool. Our wearers can see a fire of that magnitude, the speed at which it can occur, and the consequences of wearing non-FR clothing that turns into fuel for the fire. These large-scale tests allow us to effectively demonstrate the hazard and the impact it has on the clothing being tested.
How are these tests executed?
Tyndale searched the country for a facility that could simulate an outdoor, large-scale flash fire and chose the Texas A&M TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field, primarily used for industrial firefighter training. This facility spans a vast area consisting of multiple “props.” These props are facilities built to intentionally release propane or oil, simulating actual industrial accidents. We’re able to use prop 66, a
vapor dispersion device, perfect for our flash fire testing needs. Being outdoors, temperature, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction are all natural variables in our testing and provide real-life conditions.
This test uses propane which is being expelled from an underground source. Once turned on, massive amounts of propane fuel saturate the surrounding atmosphere. The propane is moved by the ambient wind filling the area. Around the perimeter of the fire field, pre-lit fires are stationed. Just like in real life, when the propane cloud reaches one of the pre-lit fires, we have ignition and a flash back to the source of the propane cloud, engulfing our manikins.
This test allows you to see an approximation of the consequences of a full-scale, outdoor hydrocarbon flash fire. The results speak for themselves. By watching these tests, we hope everyone realizes that proper PPE can save your life in a real-world flash fire while non-FR garments burn, melt, and smolder, leaving the wearer completely unprotected.