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Thermal Manikin Evaluation of PCM Cooling Vests

Research and development


  • Bendkowska Wiesława
    Department of Physics and Metrology of Textiles, Technical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland
  • Kłonowska Magdalena
    Department of Knitting Technology and Structure of Knitted Products, Technical Universty of Lodz, Łódź, Poland
  • Kopias Kazimierz (j/w)
  • Bogdan Anna
    Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute, Warsaw, Poland

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To diminish a worker’s thermal discomfort in a moderately hot environment, a new microclimate cooling vest was designed and tested. The cooling vest was intended to be worn under a chemical protective garment. As coolants, encapsulated phase change materials in the form of macrocapsules of 3 mm diameter were used. The cooling effect is based on the latent heat absorption of phase change material; a highly-productive means of thermal storage. Two kinds of macrocapsules were selected: containing hexadecane (melting point 18 °C) and containing octadecane (melting point 28 °C). MacroPCMs were inserted into small knitted sacks, which were then adhered to the inner surface of the vest i.e. near the skin. Air gaps between the macroPCM particles facilitate both heat and moisture transport through the vest. The total weight of the cooling vest was 2.64 kg, the vest area comprising about 20% of the total body surface area. A stationary thermal manikin consisting of 16 electrically independent heating segments was used to evaluate the cooling effectiveness performance of the vests. Experiments were carried out in a climatic chamber where the air temperature was 20 °C, the relative humidity 50% RH, and the air velocity 0.4 m/s. The results of the experiments demonstrated that the vest containing a mixture of macrocapsules with hexadecane and macrocapsules with octadecane had the best cooling characteristic.

Tags: cooling vest, cooling effectiveness, thermal manikin, phase change material, thermal comfort.

Citation: Bendkowska W., Kłonowska M., Kopias K., Bogdan A.; Thermal Manikin Evaluation of PCM Cooling Vests. FIBRES & TEXTILES in Eastern Europe 2010, Vol. 18, No. 1 (78) pp. 70-74.

Published in issue no 1 (78) / 2010, pages 70–74.


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