Published: 17 January 2019 17 January 2019
A prototype of a garment which could save the lives of offshore workers in the event of an accident at sea has been unveiled. Iron Ocean has worked with the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) and Heriot-Watt University to develop the Centurion 3, an offshore survival system, which comprises of a three-layer upper body garment that produces heat when immersed in cold water and is designed to be worn under the traditional offshore survival suit.
The three-layers are tear resistant, fire retardant and compression fit, making the Centurion 3 less bulky and restrictive compared to traditional suits, giving the wearer increased mobility and protection. Consequently, immersion into the cold waters of the North Sea for instance, causes the body temperature of the wearer to very rapidly decrease with an estimated life expectancy of 10 – 12 minutes. By comparison, the newly developed material incorporated into Centurion 3 immediately activates when in contact with water and produces a heat output above the average body temperature for more than 20 minutes. The self-heating material therefore allows the wearer to retain body heat, during a critical period, preventing the fatal effects of cold water immersion.