Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Development of the method for determination of the sweat transport into clothing system

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.14.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Textile and leather   

Code Science Field
T470  Technological sciences  Textiles technology 
Clothing system, comfort, sweat evaporation, sweat accumulation, testing method, measuring system
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (1)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18692  PhD Daniela Zavec  Textile and leather  Head  2007 - 2009  238 
Physiological reactions to wearing clothes are reflected in a human body as changes in physiological parameters. They can be used as a basis to evaluate the state of comfort of discomfort. The feeling of comfort in general is a complex subjective standpoint, or a psychological state, while the feeling of comfort in wearing garment can be expressed as a result of a balanced process of heat exchange among the body, garment and the environment. There are four mechanisms of heat exchange between human body and its environment: conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation. Prevailing mechanisms are radiation and evaporation. The evaporation heat loss through the skin is the product of sweating and latent heat, a need to evaporate sweat. The evaporation of the sweat is of a practical importance. However, the loss though ventilation is significant at dynamic work as well. Central issue is objective evaluation of excess heat flow, in the form of the sweat evaporated from skin surface into the environment, e.g. into a clothing system and through it into the environment. The aim of the research project proposed is to study the transfer of the evaporated sweat from the skin surface into the clothing system, the accumulation of the sweat in the clothing system and its transfer into the environment, as well as to study the physical process of evaporation, which depends upon the physical characteristic of the environment (i.e. temperature, relative humidity, partial pressure of water vapour in the air, wind velocity, etc.), and upon the skin temperature and the partial pressure of water vapour on the skin surface. The idea is to study the methods of determining the amount of the sweat evaporated from the skin surface and the mechanism of transferring it from the skin surface into the clothing system, with the aim to define an objective method of evaluating the amount of sweat transferred from the skin surface into the clothing system. A precise measuring system will be developed to define the amount of the sweat evaporated from the skin surface and its content in the clothing system. This will be a starting point for an engineering prediction and designing of physiological parameters of the clothing system, such that could offer a proper thermal-physiological comfort of wearing.
Significance for science
The results of the research project are: new knowledge regarding autonomic and behaviorural temperature regulation, improvements in mathematical simulations of human temperature regulation, new concepts in the testing of personal protective equipment. In particular, the present project focussed on the assessment of evaporation from the skin surface, and in developing a protocol for evaluating the evaporative resistance of clothing. This knowledge is essential to the development of new, and optimisation of existing clothing systems, where all textile layers and additional equipment are accounted for. The knowledge gained will contribute to the further development of basic understanding in the fields of physiology, textiles and medicine, because the common theme is the modelling of thermoregulatory responses in humans. The knowledge gained will contribute to the field of health and safety as well.
Significance for the country
Research achievements arising from the project will be of practical use in research laboratories, as well as industrial design departments. Proof of this are invitations from research institutes in Italy, Croatia, Sweden, and Germany for collaborative work in the development of new testing concepts, and from industry in Slovenia, and Germany for help in the development of new personal protective equipment. The results are of practical use in the planning of suitable clothing systems for a variety of environmentl exposures. Consequently, for the end user this means clothing ensembles, which offer more comfort, reduce the negative impact of the environment on their work efficiency, and offer greater protection from dangerous influences from the environment. The results of the laboratory and field studies are being incorporated into a thermoregulatory model, which will allow the prediction, not only of thermal comfort, but also of potential injury due to thermal strain. With the help of the model we can also predict optimal clothing ensembles for the prevention of thermal injury in extreme cold or hot environments (prevention of heat shock, overheating, and cold injuries).
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