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Evaluation of Passive Cooling Garments for Thermal Comfort Based on Thermal Manikin Tests

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Exposure to extreme temperatures causes heat stress, and even serious health issues such as heat stroke and malfunctioning of the body's thermal regulatory system. Conductive, evaporative, and phase-change cooling technologies are used in personal cooling garments for this specific reason. This study investigated their effectiveness over time in different environments, through a series of thermal manikin tests. Thermal insulation and evaporative resistance were analyzed. The conductive cooling vest had only an initial strong cooling effect, but quickly lost cooling power and even increased the thermal burden. The evaporative cooling vest showed a gradual cooling effect. The phase-change cooling garment did not show noticeable body cooling in either no-wind or windy conditions. The findings have practical implications for improved cooling vest design and optimal use for each cooling technology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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