A Thermal and Fluid System Design Built for a Mannequin Used in the Thermal Testing of Clothing

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Dr. James Ferguson


A new laboratory apparatus has been developed consisting of an inflatable thermal mannequin that allows the measurement of heat loss through various garments at extreme conditions without endangerment to human assistants. Measurements are taken to evaluate heat exchange characteristics of clothing within a laboratory setting when the mannequin is fully saturated. The current setup of the mannequin cannot simulate the heat lost due to sweating while the mannequin is clothed. The design project’s objectives were to design, build, and test a thermal fluid system that will integrate with the current inflatable thermal mannequin. Mathematical models of the fluid and heat transfer properties of the system were used to determine the specifications of a pump and heater key components in the design. A flow rate of 4 l/hr being delivered to the mannequin through several small holes strategically spaced along a tube wrapped around the mannequin was determined sufficient to completely saturate the mannequin. The thermal fluid system that was designed will allow future research in investigating thermal properties of clothing that may help in the design of new garments to protect workers in harsh occupational environments.

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