Heat Transfer Coefficient of Fabrics

Why is it important to understand the heat transfer coefficient of fabrics?

The well-being of humans largely depends on clothing (i.e. textiles). Wrong clothing leads to discomfort and in extreme cases, to hypothermia (overcooling) or hyperthermia (overheating).

The organ which is responsible for the heat exchange between a human body and the environment is the skin. It acts as a kind of sensor which measures the heat flux. The heat transfer between skin and the environment is influenced by clothing. Understanding the effects of different textiles on this heat transfer is crucial in designing functional high-tech materials (e.g. firefighting protective gear)

Advantages of gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensors:

  • Small heat flux sensors with high sensitivity, easily integrate into application setups

  • Measure heat flux going in and out of the textile.

  • Possible in-situ measurements of fabrics

  • Enhanced monitoring of thermal processes in fabrics

  • Determining heat transfer coefficients

  • Possible to integrate according to ISO 8301 and ASTM C 518-04

Recent application examples:

ETH project with yarn made from gelatin

ETH researchers used the gSKIN® KIT-2615 C to determine the insulation quality of yarn made from gelatin. The yarn has similar qualities to merino wool fibers and could be an environmental friendly alternative to products made from petroleum, natural gas, or natural fibers. Read the full article on the ETH website in English or German.

In-situ measurements of different textile fabrics

Using gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensors for the measurement of heat transfer coefficients of fabric is simple. After identifying the spot of interest, the sensor is applied using skin-friendly tape. For read-out of the sensor signals, we recommend using our data loggers. Then, the data logger should be wired in such a way that the test subject can move freely. The data logger will log all heat fluxes (in W/m2), which can then be evaluated after the experiment.

Download our application note: Thermal Characterization of Textiles: Do You Feel Comfortable in your Footwear?