White Glacier Arctic Survival Suit First to Exceed Testing Standards
White Glacier has released testing results of its newest survival suit, the Arctic 10+ PC, which was tested in late August in a facility in Trondheim, Norway under conditions far exceeding current standards and regulations, that no other survival suit on the market has yet to attain.
The Arctic 10+ PC is specially prepared to comply with the Polar Code with a beefed-up thermal configuration, internal pockets (urination kit, light, survival equipment), and suspenders for surviving on an ice floe, or on land in the Polar regions.
It offers the highest level of thermal protection available in an Immersion suit / Survival suit.
Thermal protection is a highly critical and important performance metric for immersion suits, as fatalities due to extended periods in cold water have been reported from many sea accidents.
Consequently, much focus is on the immersions suit’s thermal protection during the certification process for the suit. Depending on the suit category the test subjects wearing the suit will during the evaluation testing be exposed to different water temperatures and for different test durations.
However, none of the international test standards have test procedures specifying test conditions with water temperatures below 2 °C, air temperatures below +10°C, or with any wind chilling effect.
Accidents at sea can also take place during winter conditions, and victims could be exposed to much harsher conditions than the condition established for the approval testing of an immersion suit.
Several thermal protection tests have been performed for different models of insulated immersion suits manufactured by White Glacier, with excellent results when tested according to the test procedures specified in the international standards for immersion suits. The test conditions used during these tests represented no challenge for White Glacier immersion suits, and measures were taken to up the ante and see how these suits would cope with a much more extreme cold weather situation.
Extreme Cold-Water Testing
The current test was performed in a test pool where the water temperature was kept at 0.0 °C throughout the test period. The air temperature above the water of the test pool was – 20 °C, and with a fan blowing wind over the test subject with a wind speed of 10 km/hour. The combination of the air temperature and the wind speed resulted in a wind chill exposure of -30 °C.
The results obtained from the test subject participating for 6 hours immersed demonstrate the new Arctic 10+ PC immersion suit provided excellent protection against the cold condition. The suit complied fully with the requirements for thermal protection of insulated immersion suits as specified in MSC.81(70), even under such extreme conditions.
For ethical reasons the test duration is limited to 6 hours, but the results obtained during this period indicate that the subject would have been satisfactorily protected for a considerably longer period.
The test was performed with White Glacier’s signature built-in SPLASH TENT fully deployed with measurements on the forehead of the subject taken showing a consistent 20°C, allowing the subject to breathe warm air, even in arctic conditions.
“This is an incredible result when you consider that the water in the test pool had frozen into ice and you had to knock loose ice from the suit to get the test subject out from the test pool,” said White Glacier CEO Diego Jacobson.
“I have every confidence that survivability in the Arctic 10+ PC can go well beyond the 6-hour mark in ice water permitted in testing given how well the subject held up and reported no discomfort. I’d go as far to say that the Arctic 10+ PC is the global leader in survival suits and has to be the product of choice for those industries that require their workers to enter polar and arctic conditions, or even other cold water environments.” Jacobson said.
However, even in temperate waters, the temperature regulating aspect of the Splash Tent allows White Glacier suits to remain comfortable, yet fully protected in an instant, should the temperature drop. Comfort is a very important feature for survival gear as it can significantly improve a user’s will-to-live, which has been shown to impact survival.
White Glacier will be participating at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans from November 30 - December 2, 2022, where it will have a 1,000-gallon pool of ice with a subject in the ice water for the duration of the show.
The exhibition will be interactive too, with enough room in the pool for volunteers to try out this innovative technology for themselves.
For further information, visit www.whiteglacier.com.
This article is sponsored by White Glacier.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.