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Personal Flotation Devices Research. Volume 2. Research Report.

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. Oct 76-Jan 78 on Phase 2,

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Research on personal flotation devices PFDs is reported in three volumes. Volume 1 summarizes the research and presents a Proposed Technical Approach for development of performance-based PFD evaluation procedures. Volume II is the technical report. Volume III contains appendices. The Life-Saving Index LSI System provides a quantitative measure of the life-saving capability of PFDs called the Life-Saving Index LSI. The LSI predicts the life-saving performance of the candidate PFD and makes it possible to compare diverse PFDs including inflatables, hybrids, and inherently buoyant devices. In one of two studies of PFD wearabilityaccessibility, nearly 2500 boaters were observed in recreational boating activities. In Study II, 67 different kinds of PFDs representing the major varieties available world-wide were distributed to recreational boaters for use and evaluation. Indices of PFD wearability and accessibility were developed, based upon evaluations and PFD use behavior. One approach to PFD effectiveness used the center and distribution of buoyancy to predict the effectiveness of PFDs on human subjects. A second approach employed an anthropomorphic dummy to simulate human buoyancy characteristics. A PFD effectiveness evaluation procedure using human body simulators is recommended. Reliability research centered on the development of an accelerated aging method which simulates the aging of PFDs in the recreational boating environment. Controlled experiments were performed to determine the individual and combined effects of environmental stressors on PFDs. Test procedures and a reliability model are presented.

Subject Categories:

  • Escape, Rescue and Survival

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