Materials for Safety and Security: Materials for Shielding, Protective Suits, Electrical Insulation, and Fire Protection

Materials for Safety and Security: Materials for Shielding, Protective Suits, Electrical Insulation, and Fire Protection

Jozef Martinka, Janka Dibdiakova
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3059-7.ch011
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Abstract

This chapter deals with materials used in safety and security engineering. The most commonly used materials in this field include shielding materials, materials for protective suits, electrically insulating materials and materials for fire protection. The first part of the chapter describes the properties of materials used in the above applications. The second part of the chapter focuses on characteristics of materials that accurately describe their fire risk. The fire risk of a material is quantified by its resistance to ignition (determined generally by critical heat flux and ignition temperature) and by the impact of the fire on the environment. The impact of fire is usually determined by the heat release rate, toxicity of combustion products (primarily determined by carbon monoxide yield and for materials that contain nitrogen, also through the hydrogen cyanide yield) and the decrease of visibility in the area (depending on the geometry of the area and the smoke production rate).
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Introduction

Every object or product is made of a particular material. Therefore, material engineering is one of the most widespread and most advanced disciplines. Material engineering currently provides safety and security engineering with a wide range of problem-solving capabilities for issues that had virtually no solution a few decades ago or solutions that were not feasible from a financial, technical, or time point of view.

Given the wide range of issues mentioned above, it is not possible to summarize all the questions and problems concerning materials used in safety and security engineering in a single book and certainly not in a single chapter. Therefore, this chapter will only focus on the most widespread and important materials used in safety and security engineering.

The most important and widespread materials in safety and security engineering include:

  • Shielding Materials

    • Materials for ionizing radiation shielding

    • Materials for non-ionizing radiation shielding

    • Materials for acoustic shielding

  • Materials for Protective Suits

    • Materials for bulletproof vests

    • Materials for bomb suits

    • Materials for chemical suits

    • Materials for fire proximity suits

  • Electrical Insulating Materials

    • Materials for electrical insulators

    • Materials for electrical cable insulation

    • Insulating materials for personal protective equipment in electrical engineering

  • Materials for Fire Protection

    • Flame retardants

    • Materials that increase the fire resistance of structures

Each material has various characteristics. The relevant characteristics for an assessment of the suitability of a material application in the safety and security field include:

  • Mechanical Properties

  • Electrical Properties

  • Chemical Properties

  • Thermal Properties

  • Physical Properties

  • Magnetic Properties

  • Fire Properties

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Background

Before describing the materials used in safety and security engineering, it is necessary to mention at least the basic divisions of materials. The materials are divided into organic and inorganic. Organic and inorganic materials are further divided into natural and artificial. Artificial materials are further subdivided into materials produced by the physical or chemical processing of natural raw materials without synthesis (e.g. glass is produced by rapidly cooling molten silica with admixtures) and materials produced by synthesis (synthetic polymers). An example of an inorganic natural material is stone, organic natural materials include wood and straw, artificially produced materials through the physical or chemical processing of natural raw materials include glass, concrete and metals, and artificially materials made by synthesis include e.g. polyethylene and polypropylene.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Protective Suit: A suit that protects professionals against specific hazard (e.g. the protection of fire fighters from the high temperatures produced by fires).

Smoke Production Rate: A characteristic of combustion that quantifies the amount of smoke produced by a surface area of one square meter of material per second.

Heat Release Rate: The heat released from a surface area of one square meter of material per second.

Carbon Monoxide Production Rate: A characteristic of combustion that quantifies the amount of carbon monoxide produced by a surface area of one square meter of material per second.

Electrical Insulator: A material with high electric resistance.

Electrical Cable: A construction product intended for the transmission of electricity or electrical signals.

Fire Risk of Material: A characteristic of combustion that quantifies the resistance of the material to ignition (e.g. by critical heat flux, ignition temperature and the impact of combustion of the material on the surrounding area (the health and safety of people, the environment and property)).

Shielding Material: A material that shields a person from one or more types of radiation (e.g. X-radiation).

Electrical Installation: The interconnected components intended for electricity production, transmission and use.

Material for Security and Safety: Material commonly used in safety (e.g. fire protection) or security (e.g. bulletproof vests) applications.

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