In recent years there has been a steady increase in the demands made on the properties of function, sports and work wear textiles. In order to achieve a cooling effect, special textile constructions are developed, which increase the sweat evaporation and thus the cooling of the body.
There are already various methods to characterize such properties, but until now they are not linked to thermophysiological methods and models, which are capable to objectively determinate comfort levels, the Hohenstein Institute reports.
With the WATson heat loss tester Hohenstein says it has now developed a new physical measuring method for determining the cooling performance of textiles. “Until now there is no correlation of the data obtained using WATson with actual wearer trials and thermophysiological models,” the institute explains.
“The textiles industry, however, needs such an evaluation system for the goal-oriented development of cooling textiles – in other words a system capable of measuring the quality of a cooling process, e.g. temperature range, duration, impact on the heat / humidity balance of the wearer.”
With these requirements in mind, Hohenstein embarked on a research project to develop a thermophysiological evaluation system for the textiles industry. The aim here is for the new evaluation system to compare the results of the WATson heat loss tester with data from experiments on subjects in a climate chamber under different ambient conditions.
Structure of research project involves:
• Characterization of cooling textiles with the heat loss tester
• Performance of monitored wearer trials in a climate chamber examining different cooling textiles and a variety of ambient conditions (temperature, humidity, wind etc.)
• Examination of the cooling effect of textiles under consideration of different parts of the body
• Examination of the cooling effect of textiles with different levels of physical exertion
“German manufacturers of cooling textiles benefit directly from the evaluation system developed on this project aimed at the objective determination and assessment of the cooling performance of textiles,” the institute reports. “This project is of major economic benefit to Germany's textile industry, as companies will only succeed in improving their competitive ability if their products actually offer the functionality required by customers.”