Related: Pad descriptions
Burn Testing – The following burn tests were conducted in June 2008. While the advanced combat helmets specification calls for the following flame resistance: “The finished shell shall be self-extinguishing with no after-flame. Flaming before the withdrawal of the flame source is permitted. There shall be no melting or dripping. It is desired, however, that the finished shell be ignition resistant.” Unfortunately, there is no requirement that we can find for fire resistance of the pads. Click on the photos for the filmstrip of the tests. The initial tests where conducted using a propane torch. The second set of tests used a standard kitchen match.
Team Wendy – these next two pad sets are based on the Team Wendy design. Some are produced by Team Wendy and others are built by the National Industries for the Blind. They burn really well.
4 June, 2010: After three years of our urging, Team Wendy finally decided to include fire retardant material to the Zorbium foam used in their seat pads. Now, how do we convince them to make their helmet pads fire retardant as well as wearable for the long, danger-filled duty hours our troops have to endure the ‘shrink wrapped bricks’ of helmet pads they now provide the military as sole source?
Oregon Aero – the next pad is from Oregon Aero. While the external material will burn, the internal foam pads don’t unless the torch is applied. Once removed, the flame goes out.
MSA – This is the MSA pad that has a black and white speckled foam internally. MSA has also provided re-branded pads from TW and OA. The MSA-manufactured pads burn really well.
Skydex – This pad may or may not have a Skydex label. The external material and first internal layer burns really well. The second layer internal pad, a harder plastic layer, will burn or melt.
The Second set of tests were done using a kitchen match to start the pads. Click on the photos for the video of the pads burning. On the Oregon Aero pads, I couldn’t get them to start after three matches and ran out of matches, so I used a propane torch as was done above.