Heat Stress of Tactical Assault, Fragmentation and Load-Bearing Vests Worn over Combat Clothing

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Authors
  1. McLellan, T.M.
  2. Sleno, N.J.
  3. Bossi, L.L.
  4. Pope, J.I.
  5. Adam, J.J.
  6. Thompson, J.J.
  7. Narlis, C.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Abstract
This study evaluated the heat stress associated with wearing webbing (WEB) or a new tactical assault vest (TV) worn alone or in combination with a fragmentation protection vest (FPV). In addition, the heat stress of wearing a new load-bearing vest (LBV) was assessed. Seven subjects (25.6 ± 4.2 years, 82.8 ± 10.2 kg) performed a familiarization trial and 5 randomly ordered experimental sessions that involved walking at 6 km/h on a treadmill at 40ºC and 30% relative humidity. This exercise continued for a maximum of 3 hours or until rectal temperature (Tre) reached 40.0°C, heart rate remained at or above 95% of HRpeak for 3 min, nausea or dizziness precluded further exercise, the subject asked to be removed from the chamber, or the investigator removed the subject from the chamber. Wearing the fragmentation vest increased the cardiovascular and thermal strain and significantly reduced exercise time approximately 30 min from 111.9 ± 33.4 and 111.1 ± 38.9 min for the TV and WEB configurations, respectively, worn without the FPV to 84.9 ± 14.4 and 81.3 ± 18.5 min for the same respective configurations worn with the FPV. There was little difference in heat stress among the WEB, TV or LBV (122.0 ± 38.1 min) configurations worn without the FPV. However, if fragmentation protection must also be provided then the additional heat stress of wearing the FPV would significantly impair work performance when either the WEB or TV was used.

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Keywords
thermal strain;heat acclimation;LBV (Load Bearing Vest);TV (Tactical Assault Vest);FPV (Fragmentation Protection Vest);WEB (Webbing);Rectal temperature;Body armour;Fragmentation vests
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2003-033 — Technical Report
Date of publication
18 Jun 2003
Number of Pages
37
DSTKIM No
CA023176
CANDIS No
520377
Format(s):
Electronic Document(PDF);CD ROM

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