Fire-Dex Blog

AeroFlex Safety and Cooling Abilities Proven in Independent Testing

At Fire-Dex, our mission is “To Serve Those Who Serve.” That mission means that all of our gear is designed to keep you safe while you do your job.  

Our AeroFlex line of turnout gear is designed to keep you safe from heat—from fire and from heat stress alike.  

But we know that it’s not enough to take our word for it.  

That’s why we have tested AeroFlex with independent laboratories. We sent sets of AeroFlex to multiple universities to test our claims of how well the gear works.  

And the results speak for themselves: AeroFlex can keep your core temperature lower while still providing the protection you need in the heat of battle.  

AeroFlex Offers Enhanced Breathability 

AeroFlex represents a massive innovation in turnout gear technology. AeroVent Technology is designed to allow hot air out of the gear while keeping heat out.  

To test AeroVent Technology, we sent two sets of gear to the Florida State University ThermaNOLE Comfort Lab®. Both sets used the exact same main composites: one was AeroFlex and the other was a standard set of gear. 

The gear was placed on a specialized mannikin that is covered in a membrane that acts like skin. It can sweat and heat up like a human, simulating how hot a person would get doing an activity and how much they would sweat.  

The mannikin can also walk, which was particularly important for this test. AeroFlex gear is designed to act like a pair of bellows, using the motion of your arms and legs to pump hot air out of the garment.  

The mannikin was configured to simulate the equivalent of very strenuous overhaul activity for 75 minutes. Overhaul activities are the most strenuous activity in terms of heat stress that firefighters generally encounter, making this a perfect test of the gear’s functionality.  FSU-Physiological-Test_

The test showed that AeroFlex was incredibly effective at keeping core temperatures lower and also reducing sweat rates.  

It’s important to remember that these activities were performed in a controlled laboratory environment, but they do demonstrate how effectively the technology inside AeroFlex—VaporLite Panels and AeroVent Technology—works.  

During testing, AeroFlex demonstrated up to a 0.3°F difference in core temperature compared to the set without vents. That may not sound like much, but it is very significant in terms of how well your body functions.  

As core temperature rises, your motor skills and cognitive functions start to drop. Research shows that cognitive function may start to decline at 101.3°F, meaning that the longer you can keep your body under that temperature, the safer you will be. 

Just a few tenths of a degree can make all the difference when it comes to how well you can do your job. It can mean the difference between tripping or not tripping, making that good judgement call or making a bad call.  

Lowering your core body temperature is critical to performing well on the field. The FSU lab tests clearly show that core temperature rises more slowly with AeroFlex, giving you critical time and functionality on the job.  

The test also demonstrated that AeroFlex produced a much lower sweat rate (up to 33% lower) than the other gear.  

While these numbers would likely be different in the real world, they do show that AeroFlex keeps you cooler and reduces how much you sweat.  

So what does that mean for you?  

Lower core temperatures and sweat rates mean you can work longer before getting overheated. No matter what you’re wearing, you’ll eventually become exhausted with strenuous activity. But even just a few minutes of extra work can mean the difference between life and death.  

The results also indicate that this gear lowers the risk of heat stress on the job, keeping you safer.  

AeroFlex Protects Against the Heat of Battle

A common question about AeroFlex is its ability to protect the firefighter during fires. But the truly innovative piece of AeroFlex is that it can keep heat out, even as it can help keep you cooler during strenuous activity by allowing sweat vapor to escape.  

To test how well AeroFlex keeps you safe from flames, we sent AeroFlex to the North Carolina State University Textile Protection And Comfort Center. They test fire gear using their PyroMan system, a specialized mannikin designed to test if second- and third-degree skin burns would occur during exposure to a fire.  

The mannikin was subjected to 2000°F flames for four seconds. This test simulated the flux point of common fuels (2.00 cal/cm2sec ± 0.05 cal/cm2sec).  

The fire was specifically aimed at the vented areas of AeroFlex turnouts.  

And the results speak for themselves: after the flame, there was 0% burn on any part of the mannikin.  

Independent testing proved that not only is AeroFlex good at keeping core temperatures down, but it also provides the safety and strength you need in the heat of battle. This is made possible by innovations in design and material science. With AeroFlex, you don’t have to compromise between comfort and safety 

Fire-Dex is committed to bringing firefighters innovative PPE solutions that keep you safer and help you serve others, and we’re incredibly proud that independent testing shows that AeroFlex is doing just that. 

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