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Effect of posture positions on the evaporative resistance and thermal insulation of clothing

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Evaporative resistance and thermal insulation of clothing are important parameters in the design and engineering of thermal environments and functional clothing. Past work on the measurement of evaporative resistance of clothing was, however, limited to the standing posture with or without body motion. Information on the evaporative resistance of clothing when the wearer is in a sedentary or supine posture and how it is related to that when the wearer is in a standing posture is lacking. This paper presents original data on the effect of postures on the evaporative resistance of clothing, thermal insulation and permeability index, based on the measurements under three postures, viz. standing, sedentary and supine, using the sweating fabric manikin-Walter. Regression models are also established to relate the evaporative resistance and thermal insulation of clothing under sedentary and supine postures to those under the standing posture. The study further shows that the apparent evaporated resistances of standing and sedentary postures measured in the non-isothermal condition are much lower than those in the isothermal condition. The apparent evaporative resistances measured using the mass loss method are generally lower than those measured using the heat loss method due to moisture absorption or condensation within clothing. Statement of Relevance: The thermal insulation and evaporative resistance values of clothing ensembles under different postures are essential data for the ergonomics design of thermal environments (e.g. indoors or a vehicle's interior environment) and functional clothing. They are also necessary for the prediction of thermal comfort or duration of exposure in different environmental conditions.
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Keywords: evaporative resistance; moisture permeability index; sedentary posture; supine posture; sweating fabric manikin; thermal comfort; thermal insulation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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