The Study on Effects of Walking on the Thermal Properties of Clothing and Subjective Comfort

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Abstract

Former studies done by other authors investigated the first- and second-layered air gaps beneath the clothing garments. None of the previous studies reported multidisciplinary clothing design testing approach linking both the objective measuring methods and subjective responses, while testing the thermal properties linked to a microclimatic volume formed between the layers of garments forming the ensemble. Neither was determined the limiting value of the microclimatic volume for outerwear garments, after which the thermal insulation will start to decrease due to convection. By taking the advantage of the precise three-dimensional (3D) body scanning technology and reverse engineering 3D CAD tool, the volume of the microclimatic air layers formed under outerwear garments was determined to study the impact of the ensemble’s microclimatic volume on the overall insulation value, measured by means of the thermal manikin. The jacket with the smaller microclimatic volume provided 5.2–13.5% less insulation than wider jackets, while the ensembles with tighter jackets showed 0.74–1.9% less insulation in static and 0.9– 2.7% more insulation in dynamic conditions, thus proving that the limiting value of the microclimatic volume is greater than previously reported for three-layered ensembles. The effective thermal insulation value was reduced in average by 20.98–25.34% between standing and moving manikins. The thermal manikins are designed for steadystate measurements and do not work well under transient conditions, so three human subjects were employed as evaluators of the clothing thermal quality. In cooler climatic conditions, the measured physiological parameters and subjects’ grades pointed to discomfort while wearing ensembles with tighter jackets.

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