Empa’s computer models to calculate heat distribution beneath clothing

by Apparel Resources News-Desk

02-December-2019  |  2 mins read

Empa scientists
Image Courtesy: www.empa.ch

Here’s a model that can tell much in advance how well a clothing can keep the wearer warm!

Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology has made it happen.

Their new model predicts how good the garment can keep one warm and the important factor is the air gap between the body and outermost layer of clothing.

Explaining the same, Agnes Psikuta, Researcher at Empa, averred “Much more important are the layers of air between the body and the fabric. Air cushions are responsible for more than 70 per cent of a garment’s properties and this is because air is an excellent insulator.”

Agnes further said “Thus, clothing insulates particularly well when there is a lot of air between the body and the outermost layer of clothing. If this air escapes, the insulation suffers and one begins to freeze.”

The fabric falls differently when the body is in motion, changing the insulating air layer. Therefore, the researchers have developed a computer programme that would calculate the change in air gap thickness during movement.

“We used computer programmes developed for the fashion industry as a basis. These programmes simulate the situation on a catwalk. Designers can create a virtual model of a garment and see how their newly designed clothes look on a person in motion,” said Agnes.

The technology is designed to accurately predict how a garment will drape on the body.

The software uses different mathematical models to calculate the air gap, predict the thermal comfort and the effect of sweating or body movements on the apparel. Finally, the cutting pattern is transformed into a virtual piece of clothing.

Furthermore, the program eliminates the need for development of multiple prototypes and functional gear.

The development time is further reduced by up to 90 per cent as it also eliminates the need for time-consuming test runs.

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