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Assessment of thermophysiological wear comfort of clothing systems
Prof. Jelka Gerak, PhD Prof. Milan Marèiè, PhD University of Maribor Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Laboratory for Clothing Engineering, Physiology and Construction of Garments Maribor, Slovenia e-mail: email@example.com Received February 15, 2008
UDK 677.017.881:536.24 Original scientific paper
The comfort of clothing systems plays an important role within the domains of sport, daily routine and, in particular, work clothing, business clothing, as well as of military clothing. Only optimal comfort will enable the wearer to work efficiently over long periods of time and help to protect the body from dangerous local cooling or from imminent overheating. Since the problem of ensuring optimal clothing comfort is a complex one, the contribution presents the brief survey of past related work, and some models developed for the evaluation of human thermal regulation, together with the new approach to predicting clothing thermophysiological comfort, based on current advances in science of heat balance modelling, human biometeorology and weather conditions. Keywords: clothing, clothing system, human body, thermophysiological comfort, human biometeorology, models of human thermoregulation
Comfort is defined as freedom from pain, freedom from discomfort. It is a neutral state. Thermal comfort is that condition of mind which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment. From the physiological point of view, thermal comfort occurs when there is a thermal equilibrium between the human body and the environment. From this point of view the clothing quality is not reflected only through fulfilling aesthetic and functional requirements, but also as a feeling of comfort in wearing, as a physiological response of the wearers body to a particular article of clothing. Clothing systems with optimised heat and moisture transport are of highest importance, especially if the human body needs to be protected against external, detrimental influences, such as heat, cold, wind and weather. In most cases, a compromise needs to be found, taking into account require-
ments of both protection and physiology. Considering the complexity of the problem of assessing thermophysiological wear comfort of clothing systems, the requirements of thermal physiological clothing comfort and a short survey of the past related work and some models developed for the evaluation of human thermal regulation will be shown within this contribution.
2. Thermophysiological comfort
Comfort that is felt by wearing clothing is a decisive criterion for the evaluation of the quality of particular clothing in usage. Clothing must provide certain heat isolation, high degree of wet permeability and good ventilation in order to maintain optimal thermoregulation of the human body. The result of the balanced interactions within the manclothing-environment system is expressed by the comfort that is felt while wearing the clothing.
From the point of view of thermophysiology, clothing can be seen as a »quasi physiological system«, which impacts thermoregulation of the body of its wearer in such a manner that he/she feels comfortable under various weather conditions and at various levels of physical activity [1, 2]. The feeling of comfort is in this context a complex subjective perception, e.g. a psychological condition, while comfort in wearing clothing is expressed as the result of a balanced process of heat transfer among the body, clothing and environment. Human body constantly generates heat from the metabolism of food and muscle activity and loses this heat to the environment. A balance must be maintained between the rates of heat production and heat loss. Heat production and heat loss as heat exchange between human body and environment are described using the following equation of heat balance :
which is a heat exchange layer between the body and its environment. i. as well as by the environmental parameters. The nude body exists within and responds to this microclimate and the thermoregulatory responses of the body and the heat transfer and vapour permeation properties of the clothing determine the microclimate. Several investigations have been conducted in order to quantify and qualify the variables that affect thermal comfort [1. QE-sw . P. Gagge et al. know as the Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) model. as most of the body is exposed to microclimatic conditions occurring between the skin surface and the layer of the clothing system used.rate of evaporative heat loss from the skin through sweating (W m-2). Energy for mechanical work varies from about zero (for many activities) to no more than 25% of total metabolic rate .18 m2 K h kcal-1 = 0.total rate of heat loss through respiration(W m -2). i. measures the energetic cost of muscular load and gives a numerical index of activity. constant temperature.  as early as 1941. QR . GERAK. Evidently. Tekstil 57 (10) 497-505 (2008. clothing system.rate of convective heat loss from respiration (W m-2). clothing.total rate of heat loss from the skin (W m-2).rate of evaporative heat loss from respiration (W m-2).e.rate of radiative heat loss from the skin (W m-2). an unclothed body loses body-generated heat to the environment.rate of convective heat loss from the skin (W m-2). P. The clo unit to express the relative thermal resistance values of various clothing assemblies (1 clo = 0. About 90% is emitted from the skin surface (80% by conduction. The metabolic rate. Heat exchange between body and environment depends: · upon weather parameters of the thermal environment (environmental air temperature. The first practical system of units for the description of the heat exchange of man with his environment was proposed by A. Clothing acts as a barrier for heat and for vapour transfere between the skin and the environment.498 J.155 m2 K W1 ) and represents the insulation provided by the normal indoor clothing of a sedentary worker in comfortable indoor surroundings (The value zero (0) Clo corresponds to a unclothed person and value one (1) Clo corresponds to a person wearing a typical business suit).Pex = Qsk + Qres = = (QC + QR +QE-sk) + (QC-res + QE-res) (1) and QE-sk = QE-sw + QE-dif (2) where: M . mean radiant temperature. relative air humidity. Later. too) and the feeling of warmth in cold environment (retain warmth). and radiation and 10% by evaporation).e. This is why a clothing system should possess such thermal properties as to absorb and eliminate humidity. it means that thermal balance in the body has not been accomplished through heat exchange with the environment and the body reacts by rising or lowering body temperature. Qsk. the body is in thermal equilibrium. as well as · upon non-weather parameters (thermal properties of the clothing and heat generated by the body). It means that the clothing provides a microclimate between the body and external environment. plays an important part in the thermoregulation process. It was based on thermoregulation and heat balance theories. QC . as a conversion of chemical into mechanical and thermal energy. convection. Q res . They show that comfort can be evaluated from three different classes of variables. QC-res . i. Pex . If DS/ Dt = 0.rate of metabolic energy production (W m-2). Metabolic energy M is generated within the body. This barrier is formed both by the clothing materials themselves and by the air they enclose and the still air that is bound to its outer surfaces. needed to perform activities.rate of mechanical work (W m-2). ensure physiological thermal balance at minimum body strain.e. For the body to be in heat balance. Fangers PMV model was development in the 1970s from the laboratory and climate chamber studies. QE-sk . MARÈIÈ: Assessment of thermophysiological wear comfort of clothing systems. QE-dif rate of evaporative heat loss from the skin through moisture diffusion (W m-2). · physical activity and · clothing isolation.O. This balance is influenced by physical activity and clothing. QE-res . offer the feeling of coolness in hot environment (releases heat. It means that the wearer should feel physiological comfort. In an environment at a lower temperature than skin temperature. but should be a proper insulator. while only a small part is used as kinetic energy for various activities . while if DS/Dt ¹ 0. 6-8].rate of mechanical work. and Pex . M. at various weather conditions and at various levels of physical activity of the wearer. The PMV model combines four physi- . Fanger  developed a model of whole body thermal comfort. air movement velocity and mean radiation temperature in the environment). the rate of heat storage is zero (S = 0). Human thermal sensation is mainly related to the thermal balance of his/her body as a whole. mechani- cal (external) power. A clothing system of proper thermophysiological properties should. no excessive heat or cold. Metabolic rate is an important determinant of the comfort or the strain resulting from exposure to a thermal environment . this are: · ambient variables (air temperature. Clothing insulation is measured in units of Clo.rate of total evaporative heat loss from the skin (W m-2). the other 10 % is lost through respiration. and almost completely converted into heat. air humidity and air velocity).) M . M = Q + Pex (3) where: Q is thermal energy generated within the body.
2. while at various levels of physical activity (walk at 4 km h-1 in the direction of the wind) thermophysiological comfort was achieved between -5 °C and 15 °C . and relative humidity) and two personal variables (clothing insulation and activity level) into an index that can be used to predict thermal comfort.e. thermovelours shirt. indicated that the analysed clothing system ensured thermophysiological comfort at rest in the range between 5 and 20 °C. Testing was done at rest and in movement walk on a moving belt. The influence of environmental conditions on thermo physiological wear comfort of business clothing  The influence of different environmental conditions on thermo physiological comfort of business clothing was investigated employing the objective and subjective evaluation of comfort. at 4 km h-1 in the direction of the wind. Below are some examples of investigating the impact of clothing system at various levels of physical activity and environment conditions on thermal physiological response of human body. thermal properties and thermo physiological comfort of different male business clothing made of standard textile materials.1.J. In the first part of the experimental work 10 different combinations of male business clothing systems were tested on the sweating manikin Coppelius under different environmental and sweating conditions in order to evaluate the influ- Fig. MARÈIÈ: Assessment of thermophysiological wear comfort of clothing systems. air velocity. with air velocity of v = 1 ms-1. 2. Tekstil 57 (10) 497-505 (2008. The results on the relationship between thermophysiological properties of the clothing system and the achieved level of thermophysiological comfort at various weather conditions. 2. Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The clothing system consisted of: cotton underwear. in cold. University of Maribor. medium warm and warm environments.1.1. sports trousers and jacket with Phase change materials (PCMs) as a thermoregulating layer. Fig.1 Dependence of skin temperature upon weather condition . mean radiant temperature. expressed as physiological parameter mean skin temperature. The influence of thermophysiological characteristics of clothes on human comfort during different levels of exposure and weather conditions  Six identical sport and free time clothing systems were tested by six wearers. Testing was done in a computercontrolled climatic chamber. in the temperature range between -15 and +25 °C. as well as male business clothing that contain phase-change materials (PCMs) used as liner and outerwear material were investigated under different environmental conditions.) 499 cal variables (air temperature. which are carried out in the last years at the Laboratory for Clothing Engineering. Physiology and Construction of Garments. The index provides a score that corresponds to the ISO 7730  seven-point thermal sensation scale as well as ASHRAE thermal sensation scale (ASHRAE Standard 551992) .1. Review of past related work Investigation of the relationship between thermophysiological properties of the clothing system and/ or other textile products for technical use (car seats. i. For this purpose. The investigation was subdivided into two parts.1. as well as subjective assessment of thermal comfort. GERAK. M.2. bedding mattresses) and the level of thermophysiological comfort of the user achieved at various weather conditions are presented in this chapter.
5 and 32.3b . 22. GERAK. 15] Two different seat covers. which included a car seat and driving simulator. Testing persons performed 90 min. i. Fig.0 and 33. The analysis also showed that the average skin temperature was affected by the type seat cover and the combination of the clothing system as well. reduced heat loss. The investigation was performed under artificially designed ambient conditions. The results obtained in the investigations described indicated that the environmental conditions and thermal properties of business clothing systems had a considerable impact on thermo physiological comfort of the wearer. These quite different physical mechanisms of heat exchange affected physiological regulation of human body temperature. with air permeability of 144. on average by 0. and that the PCMs in business clothing systems provided a small temporary heating/cooling effect during activity changes. b) at 15 °C . i. wearing in the course of the investigation two different clothing systems.) ence of environmental and sweating conditions on thermal comfort properties of clothing systems.3. because the microPCMs absorbed heat in walking and produced an cooling effect. The results obtained showed that the type of seat cover material and the clothing system used had a considerable impact on the thermal comfort of the driver. thermal physiological comfort of the driver. offering higher thermal resistance. mounted on the seat of a sports car. Fig. because the microPCMs released absorbed heat (while walking) and thus caused a heating effect.0 ldm-2 min-1 . At the ambient temperature of 15 °C. which had considerably lower heat resistance. and b) underwear and T-shirt of outlast knitted fabric and a track suit. The analysis of testing average skin temperature indicated that with higher ambient air temperature the average skin temperature rose.g. in a computercontrolled climatic chamber.: a) underwear and T-shirt of cotton knitted fabric. impregnated with a PA foam. MARÈIÈ: Assessment of thermophysiological wear comfort of clothing systems. on the average by 0.0 °C while sitting in the climate chamber. The lowest average skin temperature was recorded with textile seat covers.0 °C while walking. which had a detrimental impact on the thermal comfort of the driver at an exogene heat strain. Tekstil 57 (10) 497-505 (2008. 2. of approximately same stature and mass. while the highest value was recorded with leather seat covers. with air permeability of 30. Fig. on a specially designed workplace in an airconditioned chamber. were used to investigate the impact of the type of car seat material on the thermal physiological comfort of the driver. e.2 Time dependent mean skin temperature measured in clothing systems with/without PCMs at two different ambient temperatures: a) at 20 °C. The second part of the investigation included the evaluation of the impact of different climatic conditions and clothing systems on thermo physiological comfort of the wearer (with human subjects) . when testing persons wearing the underwear and T-shirts of outlast knitted fabric.500 J. M. The influence of kind of materials for car seat on thermophysiological comfort of driver [14. with a track suit.6 °C. mean skin temperatures ranged between 31.e. Laminated PES woven fabric.1.2a. mass 705 gm-2. and b) seat cover made of natural leather. with 45% air humidity and air velocity of 1 m s-1.2b . as compared to the leather seat cover.6 ldm-2 min-1. 24 and 26 °C. mass 332 gm-2. Five testing persons were included. when testing persons wearing the underwear and T-shirts of cotton knitted fabric. in order to simulate as closely as possible real conditions at four different environmental temperatures.4 °C. of driving simulation. Fig. under various climatic (ambient) conditions. at 20. and between 32. Smaller variations of the average skin temperature were recorded at lower air temperatures than when the same combination of clothing a) b) Fig. It can also be seen that in the fourth period of testing mean skin temperatures measured in the clothing systems cs4 and cs5 were little higher. The seat covers were as follows: a) seat cover made of 100% PES woven fabric.3a.e. The results also showed that at clothing systems cs4 and cs5 mean skin temperatures in the third period and also in the fourth period was a bit lower.
The analysis of the results show that the feeling of comfort is achieved at the ambient air temperature of 20 °C. The impact of fabric type and construction of bedding mattresses on thermal physiological comfort of the user  The investigations presented dealt with the impact of the type and con- struction of bedding mattress on thermal-physiological comfort of the user. It can be attributed to better thermoregulatory effect of the outlast knitted fabric as a functional layer of the clothing system. 2. Higher ambient air temperature Fig. +3 hot. as dependent on the temperature of the environment . it can be concluded that under identical testing conditions. while at 26 °C testing persons feel distinctly uncomfortable. It is quite evident that there is a correlation between the average skin temperature and subjective assessment of thermal comfort as well. particularly during summer and conditions of adjusting temperatures in the bedroom.6 shows the average skin temperature in sleeping on the mattresses tested. regardless of the car seat cover material and clothing system used [14. seat covers of natural leather are favoured. . GERAK. M.4. while the least variation in the average skin temperature was recorded at higher temperatures when the leather seat covers were tested and testing persons wore the underwear and T-shirts of outlast knitted fabric. Tekstil 57 (10) 497-505 (2008. The results obtained in the investigations indicate that the type of the fabric and mattress construction directly influenced thermal-physiological comfort of the user in sleeping. as testing persons felt more comfortable with them than with textile ones. +2 warm. at four different sets of climatic conditions.4 Relationship between subjective assessment (0. When analysing subjective assessment of comfort from the point of view of the seat cover material used. artificially achieved in a climatic chamber. The impact of three different mattresses on thermal-physiological comfort of the user was investigated. imitating real conditions in bedrooms.neutral.4 and 5.) 501 a) Fig. Fig. +4 very hot) of thermal feeling and ambient temperature Fig. 15]. the per- sons feel rather uncomfortable at 22 °C. uncomfortable. +1 slightly warm.3 Dependence of skin temperature upon ambient temperature b) system was applied with the leather seat covers.very uncomfortable) thermal comfort and ambient temperature . Fig. since it offers better and faster adaptation of the body to temperature changes. MARÈIÈ: Assessment of thermophysiological wear comfort of clothing systems.5 Relationship between subjective assessment (0 comfortable.slightly uncomfortable.J.1. .
502 J.) Fig. non-uniform thermal environment. 21. 7 . C. The Berkeley model used sixteen body segments corresponding to the Berkeley segmented thermal manikin [23. J. Havenith . G. 24]. multi-layered representa- a) b) Fig. MARÈIÈ: Assessment of thermophysiological wear comfort of clothing systems. Mathematical models based on multi-node models of human thermoregulation have been developed. in a numerical model of multi-layered clothing systems. Stolwijks 25-node model of thermoregulation  set out the fundamental concept. Fiala et al. 2. 21]. hands. D. The Fiala Model of human heat transfer and thermal comfort is based on six years research work carried out at HfT Stuttgart and De Montfort University. Most of the work has been done in the framework of occupational medicine or indoor climate conditions design. J. B. Stolwijk  developed a multinode comfort model.7 Schematic presentation of the Fiala Model of human heat transfer and thermal comfort : a) passive system. Models overview In the past four decades. Fiala et al. con- duction by air. e. E. D. but included several significant improvements over the Stolwijk model.J. J. legs and feet.2. The calculations were performed in a time-dependent mode and compared to experiments performed on a sweating hot plate in a non-steady state mode.A. Hui- zenga et al. as dependent upon the conditions of the investigation resulted in higher average skin temperature of the testing persons. The passive system  is a multi-segmental. dynamic mathematical model incorporates two interacting systems of thermoregulation: the controlling. torso. He considered the combination of the tree heat flow mechanisms. Stolwijk [1 7]. radiation. UK.A. Berkeley multinode comfort model can be also mentioned. Later. M. S. Konz et al. [23. numerous studies have focused on the heat transfer from human body to the surrounding air. and S. algorithm.g. 24]. Fig. The model is capable of predicting human physiologic response to transient. . and diffusion of water vapour. while heart rate varied independently. GERAK. The multi-node.A. [20. [20. Tanabe in Japan . physical constants and physiological control subsystems for many contemporary multimode models.J. Tanabe et al. . b the active system . Farnworth  developed a numerical model of the combined diffusion of heat and water vapour through clothing.H. arms. Wissler . based on six body segments: head.J. Tekstil 57 (10) 497-505 (2008. 28] presented a computer model of human thermoregulation for a wide range of environmental conditions. active system and the controlled passive system. Stolwijk considered clothing as an insulation without mass.I. The Berkeley Multinode comfort model was based on the Stolwijk model as well as on the work by S.6 hanges in average skin temperature.
taking into account the anatomical. into the environment.J. Integrated systems related to the study of three-dimensional (3D) anthropometric measurement. 30]. realised within the framework of the COST action 730 [29. GERAK. 3D product development and clothing area factor. with achievement tree-dimensional body scan method in measuring body surface and development of advanced clothing model as a heat exchange layer between the body and environment. MARÈIÈ: Assessment of thermophysiological wear comfort of clothing systems. The purpose of the UTCI is to inform the public of how the weather feels. metabolic heatgeneration. taking into account factors previously considered when devel- oping the wind chill and UV indices. 3. which could provide information regarding all forms of heat transfer such as dry heat trans- Fig. An advanced clothing model shall need to be developed taking into account human behaviour and changes in clothing properties caused by the weather. thermal and physiological properties of the human body. (asymmetric) radiation and humidity. The model accounts for phenomena of heat transfer that occur inside the body (blood circulation. moderate. Rapid development of the models in the field has brought about the development of the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI). The active system model  simulates responses of the thermoregulatory system: vasoconstriction and vasodilatation of cutaneous blood flow sweat excretion and changes in metabolic heat production by shivering thermogenesis. human biometeorology and weather conditions. warm and hot stress conditions . thermophysical and thermophysiological properties of the body. Heat losses from body parts to the environment are modelled in detail considering the inhomogeneous distribution of temperature and thermoregulatory responses over the body surface. accumulation) and at its surface (free and forced surface convection. These models simulate phenomena of human heat transfer inside the body and at its surface.8 The logic diagram of the design model of novel approach to improve the thermophysiological clothing comfort . Tekstil 57 (10) 497-505 (2008. A novel approach to improve the thermophysiological clothing comfort A novel approach to improve the thermophysiological clothing comfort is based on a complex integration of current advances in science of human heat budget modelling. The COST action 730 brings together leading physiologists and meteorologists from Europe and the rest of the world to develop a new weather index which accounts for the physiological and behavioural response of humans coupled with influences of the weather in a more universal and comprehensive manner. conduction. The thermophysiological model now chosen as a basis for the UTCI is the 340-node Fiala model which has been validated for a wide range of climates.) 503 tion of the body with spatial subdivisions that include a detailed representation of the anatomic. M. and accumulation). through the clothing system. diffusion. The active system was developed by means of statistical regression analysis using measured responses obtained from steady and transient exposures to cold stress. evaporation. cold. long and short wave radiation. as well as study of development of clothing model for heat and moisture transfer from the body. which could provide information regarding the 3D body model and body surface.
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