Investigation of the Performance of Personal Flotation Devices
UNDERWRITERS' LABS INC TAMPA FL
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An experimental investigation was performed to study various aspects of an existing theory for flotation equilibrium angle of a person wearing a personal flotation device PFD in water. The major objectives were determination of the validity of the theory, and derivation of a method for determining the buoyant force and center of buoyancy of a PFD when worn by a person. Additionally, information was obtained on the sensitivity of the theory to small changes in variables, the variability of repetitive measurements of certain human-body characteristics required by the theory namely, lung vector and intrinsic stiffness vector, the variation with time of day of an individuals intrinsic stiffness vector, and the comparative effectiveness of five PFDs. The experiments used eight human subjects 130-240 lbs. in weight, five PFDs , and five different times of day. Because of the small number of experiments used, the statistical significance of some results is limited. A recommended approach to evaluating PFD effectiveness using experiments with mannequins is described.
- Sociology and Law
- Marine Engineering
- Safety Engineering
- Escape, Rescue and Survival