High sensitivity measurements of thermal properties of textile fabrics
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A new testing apparatus is proposed to measure the thermal properties of fabrics made from polymeric materials. The calibration of the apparatus and the data acquisition procedure are considered in detail in order to measure thermal conductivity, resistance, absorption and diffusivity constants of the tested fabric samples. Differences between dry and wet fabrics have been carefully detected and analyzed. We have developed a new measurement protocol, the ThermoTex protocol, which agrees with the UNI EN 31092 standard and entails accurate quantification of the experimental errors according to a standard statistical analysis, thus allowing a rigorous investigation of the physical behavior of the phenomena involved. As a consequence, our equipment exhibits great potential for optimizing the thermal comfort of fabrics, according to the market demand, thanks to the possible development of a predictive phenomenological theory of the effects involved. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.