why all cow is flawed

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hawkwind
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why all cow is flawed

Post by hawkwind » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:36 pm

OK Firstly ...It will be said that if one does not like or have valid concerns one needs to submit a rule change form ..... dear readers this will be submitted by the author in conjunction with discussion, as a rule change requires the support of those considering said change and the general support of the affected members ...so through this post I hope to convince DLRA members that the SCTA ( and by proxy DLRA) all leather rule is not only ill considered but possibly dangerous.

To the best of my knowledge the all leather rule came about when one (1) SCTA rider had an incident with an on board fire and received burn injuries I believe they were secondary burns from steam generated underneath the leathers ...im not privy to the details or know if the rider was wearing leathers with stretch panels or perforations ... but from this incident a rule change was made which made it mandatory for the use of "all leather" riding suits...and later some lee way in allowing palm sized stretch at the back of the knees and under arms .

Here I will try to logically and scientifically put forward my personal view why this is a bad rule.

1. The physical properties of leather and how its affected by flame impingement through the process of conduction....I don't want to delve to deeply into the science and maths ( but if you are interested I can provide links) ...Leather is a natural product consisting of the tanned and processed hides of animals ,for most circumstances riding leathers are from a bovine source ie. cows. All substances have a property known as thermal conductivity measured in W/(M.K) the lower the number the greater is its resistance to conducting heat EG metals have a high conductivity rate whereas insulating materials have a low value. Leather has a relatively low value of 0.14 which makes it a good choice for resisting heat conduction BUT this is only under certain circumstances it MUST be dry... the way the fibres of leather are arranged is it allows air to be trapped within its structure, Air is a very good insulator with a value of 0.026 much better than the leather its self.
But leather has another property its hydroscopic ..it absorbs moisture very well ..it wicks up your perspiration and becomes saturated with water displacing the air ...water has a conductivity higher than air 0.59. Also leather holds onto its moisture and takes time to dry out and its also traps salts and acids (more on this later ).
We race in a very hot place... inside our all cow suits we sweat like pigs and very soon our leathers are quite wet ( there is no ventilation) normally this would be of concern only for our ability to keep cool and the possibility of overheating our bodies ( which is why they ventilate them) now we have the situation where we have wet leathers there thermal conductivity is higher and we have a fire on-board while racing down the course do we bail out or ride it out and endure the fire for the time it takes to stop and dismount? ....If we ride it out and depending on the severity of the fire and the time to stop the heat penetrates through the leathers ( not the flames ) and heats up the trapped perspiration which becomes steam and causes burns there by negating the very reason for THE RULE which is supposed to help.
Ok so is there any alternative? And if so is it practical? I believe there is and it involves 3 processes.

Process 1.... alter leathers tendency to be hydroscopic....my research shows that the best way to do this (from leather industry sources) is to treat the leather with a waterproof fatliquor this keeps the leather dry ...but for it to be effective the leather must be free of acids and salts sadly used leathers would have accumulated through sweat salts and acids ...I'm not sure if they could be treated by professional suit leather manufactures ...this may help keep the leather dry but inside it will be a sauna bad for health and the heat will still boil the sweat and cause burns.

Process 2...... wear thermal insulation under the leathers ... contrary to popular belief Nomex is not a good insulator it has a medium thermal conductivity of 0.25 and its primary purpose is to not burn ..in actual fact it would be better to wear it outside of the leather ..... so what else well some natural fibres are good insulators and they have the added benefit of wicking the sweat away from the skin keeping us dry and cooler ( if there is ventilation ) silk, cotton 0.029 wool 0.039 ..there are better synthetic fibres but unlike natural they melt in high heat ... one exception is a fibre called carbon X it is an excellent insulator wicks away sweat and is extremely flame proof .....look it up .... BUT without a way for the moisture to evaporate it stays trapped inside where it can if heated turn to steam SO.

Process 3 Use ventilated leathers this allows the moisture inside to escape and allows cooling dry air inside to help evaporate the moisture .... this will keep the rider cooler and dryer which is the exact opposite to the all leather rule.

As can be deducted from the above data all leather riding suites are not the way to protect us from the incidence of a fire aboard and can be actually harmful in such a case ..as well as creating a potentially harmful sauna condition for riders and giving rise to heat related sickness.

leather properties (some)
• High Tensile Strength.
• Resistance to tear, this is due to the three dimensional fibre weave.
• High resistance to flexural fatigue.
• High resistance to puncture.
• Low bulk density. Because of its fibrous nature the bulk density of leather is low without impairing its other qualities.
• Good heat insulation. As its low bulk density indicates there is a considerable amount of air in the interstices between the fibres of leather. The air clings to the fibre surfaces, being static; the air is a poor conductor of heat, an important factor in bodily comfort.
• Permeability to water vapour. At relative humidity leather fibres will hold more water vapour than any other fibre. This property enables leather to absorb perspiration which is later dissipated.
• Thermostatic properties. Leather is warm in winter and cool in summer.
• Mould ability. Leather can be moulded and will retain its shape.
• Anti-Fungal properties. Leather is treated for resistance to mildew and rot.
• Resistance to fire. Leather resists heat and flame, making it a safety conscious option in the modern abode, for this reason leather is also used in protective clothing.

fatliquors
NERAL: SYNTHOL DS 600 is mostly used as a single fatliquor. SYNTHOL DS 600 is best used alone, without additions. Combinations with other waterproofing fatliquors are possible when a specific handle is required or waterproofing demands are less severe. SYNTHOL DS 600 has a relatively low sensitivity to the presence of electrolytes and acids. For this reason it can be used even under less than ideal circumstances where other waterproofing fatliquors would not be able to give maximum effects. However, the presence of electrolytes should still be avoided as much as possible and good washing after neutralization and possibly before fatliquoring is essential. SYNTHOL DS 600 does not require a high neutralizing pH to be effective. Uniform de-acidification is essential, however, and for best results, an over- night neutralization to a final pH of 4.7-4.8 is recommended.

Gary #282
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Montlhery
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by Montlhery » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:04 pm

Thanks Gary ,really appreciate what you have done here . Hopefully the guys can let us know one way or the other as to the rules change or not ? As a new suit takes 6 weeks to make and I will need to order shortly to be ready for Feb. Thanks

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AuotonomousRX
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by AuotonomousRX » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:53 pm

Hi Gary

That is very interesting information.

What is your actual Proposal?

Given what you have written I'd like to know,

Does a possible rule proposal based on the information here, allow all leather Leathers to be used, some of us now have these as a result of the SCTA based rules being in place for a while?

Also could a suit that has perforations allow a flash type fire to have direct contact with the wearers skin, unless a recognised fire resistant barrier is in place, and have a greater chance of burning the wearer than with Non perforated Leathers.

If the Fire was intense enough and long enough to create steam, and I do not know how or what that is, could the exposed neck area between the top of the Leathers and the Helmet be at a greater risk of more severe burns from direct contact with such an intense fire than the steam regardless of the type of Leathers worn?

Given the backwards and forwards related to this Rule

Why don't we go back to the Rule we had in place before we changed over to SCTA rules?

If it was considered safe then, what's changed?

Pete
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grumm441
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by grumm441 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:56 pm

the current rule says
7.C.2 Leathers:
One-piece or two-piece 350 deg. (zipped together) all leather is required. Limited perforations are allowed
in armpit and back of knee. No cloth or non-leather panels are allowed. Fairing (leather or cloth only) on
the back of leathers is allowed in partial streamlined classes only.

The Current/new SCTA rule says


7.C RIDING APPAREL:
7.C.2 Leathers:
One-piece or two-piece 350 deg. (zipped together) all leather is required and the zipper must be sewn to the leather. Limited perforations and cloth or non-cloth panels are allowed in the armpit and at the back of the knee. No single panel can be larger than a total of 12 square inches each. Fairing (leather or cloth only) on the back of leathers is allowed in partial streamlined classes only.


The rule change form is in the back of the rulebook, if you are not happy with the current rule feel free to use it.
There are currently four rule changes pending all regarding motorcycle safety
One is to allow "safety" humps on leathers in open classes
One is to put mandatory back protectors back in the rules
one is regarding cloth panels in leathers
and the final one is about perforations

Gary has a valid argument, that has also been put to me by Fireman Jim, who as his username suggests was or is a fireman, and also has a good insight.
The final vote is up to myself and Shane Gaghan. So we need to be convinced.
I would like to see the club vote on all of these changes , however that is not how we work.
The SCTA allows members to vote on rule changes, this has the side affect of allowing the car guys to vote on bike rules. Regardless of this, as I understand it, the current rule book is finalised for the year.

Graham
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AuotonomousRX
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by AuotonomousRX » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:03 pm

Are "Risk Assessments" part of the DLRA procedures to determine if a Safety type rule change is valid or not?

Pete
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hawkwind
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by hawkwind » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:02 pm

Hi Pete, I'm actually submitting several rule change requests mostly to do with motorcycle protective gear..I did a lot of research several years back when I was in charge of the motorcycle rules, that piece above was done then and that is why I allowed either all leather or perforations with suitable under garments...since we have IMO now reverted blindly back to SCTA rules I feel I must speak out about some sections in those rules.
As Graham has pointed out Jim also has concerns (scta member) as do others ...yes he is a retired professional fireman and I my self have over 35 years in the fire protection industry.

Firstly lets get this "fire danger " in perspective the rule was changed because of ONE incident ( a fire aboard a siton motorcycle is a very rare occurrence ) imo again I believe the rule change was a knee jerk reaction and not very well thought out PLEASE correct my perception if im incorrect :) If we are truly concerned about fire protection and rider safety we would mandate the use of SFI fire rated suites over our leathers along with fire rated gloves, balaclavas ,socks and helmet liners ,yes totally impractical and one could put forward arguments dangerous to the rider as well.

Quite a few years ago I looked at a practical fire suppression system for a motorcycle and actually tested some, the possibility of keeping the suppressing agent in the general area of where it would work effectively was a big problem due to the open nature of motorcycles ,especially at speed ,so in my opinion even though they can be installed with difficulty there effectiveness would be marginal. I believe a far greater concern should be about the leather suits themselves (standards wise) and rider comfort ie.the ability to move freely and keeping the rider as cool as possible to guard against heat stress an alert rider is more important than the very rare onboard fire scenario.

When I get together my old notes I will also put forward some serious concerns about the racing suits we are using as well more to ponder hahah .

Gary
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AuotonomousRX
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by AuotonomousRX » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:29 pm

Gary that was what I was trying to understand.

I know that the DLRA adopted the SCTA rules.

Is there any reason that the Motorcycle Competition Rules have to be SCTA based if the more experienced Members are saying there is problems with them?

I put forward a proposal about the mandatory use of Back Protectors, but there is clearly a number of things going on here.

It looks like the whole Motorcycle safety rules might need reviewing from what you are saying.

I say that because, if there has been any Safety Incident, then it should have been Investigated and this Investigation should have provided recommendations.
In this case to simply recommend that we all have to wear, non perforated, all leather Leathers, does not seem right to me, but I don't know how the Incident investigation was done and what the findings were?

That was why I asked the Risk Assessment question. I was wondering about how Safety Regs are developed in the DLRA.

From what Grumm is saying the DLRA Rule process puts the Motorcycle decisions onto two people. I thought that there was a Tech Committee that made the decisions. Learn something everyday.

Managing Safety is a big part of any organisation these days whether we like it or not, maybe this a good time to put into place a more coordinated way of managing our safety.

I am sure there is certainly enough members who could sort this out and set it up to address any future stuff as and when it happens.

I'll put some ideas down and see what happens.

Pete
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hawkwind
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by hawkwind » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:40 pm

Pete, a little history lesson regarding rules and implementation .. I joined the DLRA in 2001 or 2 went to the lake first in 2000 ,after joining I mentioned I was involved with the fire protection industry and was invited to explain the different suppression systems to the club members ,after I was asked to do some rules for the rule book .At that time there was only the chief car scrutineer ( who had final say on all matters of a technical nature )and no bike scrutineer (that year the bloke who was doing it did not show for speed week ) so I stepped in and became the bike scrut...at that time they were using the SCTA rules from an earlier SCTA rule book which never changed...during this time I fought to have the bike rules and scrutineer separated from the car side and for the bikes to have a chief bike scrutineer who reported to the race director. By the way from as far back as I can remember the chief scrutineer has decided the rules /interpretations without recourse to the members ie absolute authority. During my tenure I I upgraded the bike rules to the then current SCTA rules and made some changes to them to best suit or own Australian conditions most where technical rules and some were safety rules Leaving aside the technical rules I introduced mandatory back protectors for all riders and allowed the use of helmets with other standards besides Snell ( will post up my reasons for doing so in another thread).I received some flack about doing that.

During my tenure there were 2 motorcycle accidents in which the riders where injured and needed hospitalisation . One stemmed from a bad speed wobble and the other from a rubber valve stem breaking away from the rear tyre ... both these incidents were investigated by the race director ,my self and others from our findings several rule changes were made being the mandatory use of metal valve stems , the banning of allowing front tyres to be used as rear tyres and the mandatory use of steering dampeners.. so there are procedures in place which are not necessarily made know to members outside the technical committee ...there are procedures for rule changes which are fair and reasonable and there is or was an appeal mechanism to the race director if the change was rejected.

Its hard to please every one and I ask that all members give our new chief scrutineer a fair go he is a reasonable bloke and well suited to the roll he has; technically and professionally .........if you have a case for a rule change submit it with your reasons and see what happens.

Gary
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Designed by................Troglodyte.
Engineered/ built by......Rustic.
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by momec3 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:52 pm

Car guys should have little or no say in bike rules and visa versa. This is only common sense.
We adopted the SCTA rules for some good reasons.
Are their rules perfect. Hardly.
Provided we are on the ball each year and not allow ourselves to get behind again we can do both our own version and adapt the SCTA to suit us.
We should always learn from accidents and improve provided the changes we make are based on good science not knee jerk.

Chris
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AuotonomousRX
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by AuotonomousRX » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:49 am

That make sense to me Chris.

In the M/C case a few things could have been done to avoid what is going on now.

Gary I was not going to suggest we change the Role of the Chief Scrutineer,

Graham is doing a good job and has always given me answers to any questions I put forward and has listened to/read the issues I have raised and given me feedback or an explanation if needed.

The Chief Scrutineer can only act according to the DLRA rules. That is what I think might need to be looked at.

I was thinking more along the lines of trying to make the job of anyone in a DLRA Administrative Role at bit clearer and easier to manage.

I might be able to show what I mean If we go back to this issue.

When the Rule in question was adopted Members had to go out and buy or alter their Leathers so they complied.

I would have thought that this Rule (among a number of others) would have been looked at during "a change over" period before the SCTA based rules were adopted rather than changing over to these rules and waiting for rule Change Proposals to be put forward.

Being a relatively new member then, I did not put one forward, I asked the question about this Rule and the answer was, this is now what is needed to comply, ok fair enough, so I did.

Now we are looking at changing this Rule and making quite a few other changes, that is great, but let's use this opportunity to improve on what we have now so this won't happen again.

If we can put a few simple guidelines/structures in place, so that as ideas come up from the Membership or changes are needed in the future, it can be done and seen to be done, in a clear, open and concise way.

Thanks

Pete
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BIG GAZ
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by BIG GAZ » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:47 pm

Pete,
I think everyone involved with the DLRA knows that we have plenty of room for improvement right across the board. Admin and communication has never been one of the clubs strong points. The DLRA has always used the SCTA Rule Book as its base. Unfortunately it got well out of date, at least on the car side and it was proposed and agreed by the members at the AGM on the lake in 2010 to get it in line with the lastest SCTA book. It was acknowledged at the time there was going to be some collateral damage. I updated the DLRA Rule book with what latitude I considered safe and published a draft that was available for comment at a number of meetings and on the forum. There seemed to be very little interest and this is evidenced by the amount of views and replies that the Rule Book thread received. In spite of very little input from anybody the mandate was clear and needed to be in place for our next meeting. The rules and the procedure is clear. The members can have an input to Rule changes but it is up to the Chief Scrutineer and the Rules Committee to recommend the change to the DLRA Board. If you don't agree with either the rules or the procedure then put your hand up, volunteer to do the research, get others involved and spearhead a change. I don't believe the yanks know everything but it is a starting point. This leathers thing is a case in point. We have the knowledge in Gary and the experience in Graham to make a big change. Keep it on the boil!
Gaz

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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by harky » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:36 pm

watching and reading with interest
thanks Gary , good debate and facts are easy to be part of
the leather s thing goes round and round
Gary has put a whole new spin on it for me --- hadnt thought of burns from steam from inside , and when you think about it, it isnt hard to understand !!
keep talking fellas ,
good stuff
harky
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Montlhery
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by Montlhery » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:27 pm

"Regardless of this, as I understand it, the current rule book is finalised for the year."

Gday Graham , just to clarify this means the rule book stands as it is for Speedweek 2013 ?

Thanks

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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by GSUZ » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:05 pm

well guys it looks like i have found someone here in Adelaide to alter leathers to comply with the current rules. I will be having a meeting tomorrow sometime with a likely candidate and i'll be sure to let you all know an around about cost and time frame to do it. It is a specialist job and only a certain few people are set up to do it here in SA so i'll be enquiring about getting multiple items modified to reduce the cost if at all possible. It may be best for a few of us to get our gear together to get it sorted in time for Speed Week at a reasonable price. This may be the best option until such time the rules may be looked at to be changed as i think we may have missed the boat for Feb. Cheers
Shane Gaghan
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AuotonomousRX
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Re: why all cow is flawed

Post by AuotonomousRX » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:57 pm

I asked a couple of questions earlier but I have not got any response to them.

Could a suit that has perforations across the front allow a flash/explosive type fire to have direct contact with the wearers skin and have a greater chance of burning the wearer than with Non perforated Leathers?

If a Fire was intense enough and long enough to create steam, and I do not know what that would be, could the exposed neck area between the top of the Leathers and the Helmet be at a greater risk of more severe burns from direct contact with such an intense fire than the steam regardless of the type of Leathers worn?

Any ideas, answers, or feedback?

Pete

Oh Yeah HISide Leather Repairs in Brisbane are a specialist Motorcyle Leathers repair shop can replace any panels in an existing suit.

http://www.hisideleathers.com/
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