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Comfort is one of the most important attributes desired by consumers while purchasing clothing. Thermal comfort maintains thermal balance to protect human from unpleasant environments. It ensures that the heat loss, skin temperature and air movement at the skin surface produce a sensation of comfort.
Thermal conductivity is the ability of a fabric to transfer heat to control temperature offering comfort. It is determined by the rate of thermal transport between a heating element and a fabric specimen. Thermal conductivity determines how fast or how much heat can be transferred through a material for a given temperature difference. Higher thermal conductivity allows for a faster rate of heat transfer of material, which is applicable to cool feeling garment. On the contrary, the material is used for thermal resistance clothing. The standard method is ASTM D7984.
Clothing that provides good thermal comfort can compensate the gain or loss of heat to keep body temperature in equilibrium and make the wearer feel satisfied with the thermal environment and is not required to use his/her thermo-regulator mechanism. It also prevents the wearer from feeling too cold or too hot even under cold or hot weather.
The testing procedures are as below:
The equipment, MTPS (modified transient plane source), is a heater with sensor assembly
A ‘constant pressure’ placed on the specimen during testing
Specimen puts onto the heater surface and to be covered by the sensor entirely
Automatically detect the heat flow of specimen, report thermal conductivity and thermal effusivity