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Imec Designs A Firefighter Protective Suit

Imec, Ghent University, Brigade de Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris, Connect Group and Sioen, have come up with a prototype of protective firefighters’ clothing with integrated temperature sensors and electronics to warn firefighters of  too high ambient temperatures.

It should significantly reduce the number of injuries to firefighters.

“Firefighters are often exposed to extremely high temperatures during interventions,” says Imec’s Frederick Bossuyt “but their heat-resistant clothing often makes it difficult for them to assess when they are at risk of being burned, resulting in second- and third-degree burns. The new suit, with built-in temperature sensors, can warn them in time.”

The suit integrates temperature sensors, an energy-efficient microprocessor, and associated electronics. When the temperature becomes too high, the firefighter receives an audible warning signal so that he can make the right decision in good time. .

To enable textile integration, very thin sensor nodes were developed which communicate with the central electronic circuit via a customized conductive ribbon that was developed by Sioen.

Connect Group was responsible for the hardware and the software of the system with focus on robustness, reliability and energy efficiency of the electrics.

A modified coating to make the electronics resistant to possible contamination – for example, the firefighter’s sweat – and a special housing to protect the batteries against high ambient temperatures was developed by Connect Group.

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It is expected that the accumulated knowledge can also be used more widely, for example for similar applications in the healthcare sector or in production environments.

Source: electronicsweekly

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