Walter Sweating Fabric Manikin (WSFM) is a specialized tool used for evaluating the thermal comfort of fabrics and clothing. It is a life-size mannequin with a body made of specially designed fabric and is equipped with sensors that can measure thermal comfort parameters such as skin temperature, sweat rate, and evaporative resistance.
The WSFM works by replicating the human body's sweating mechanism. The fabric that covers the mannequin's surface is designed to mimic the heat and moisture transfer characteristics of the human skin. It can also simulate the sweat rate of the human body with great accuracy. The mannequin uses a sweating system, which includes a water reservoir, a pumping system, and a controlled heating system, to imbue the fabric with water.
The WSFM's sensing system includes both dry and wet sensors to measure the surface temperature, humidity, and evaporative resistance of the fabric. The dry sensors monitor the temperature and humidity of the air inside a partial vacuum chamber, while the wet sensors measure the temperature and humidity inside the chamber with the fabric. The mannequin's artificial skin replicates the radiant temperature of a human body, and the evaporative resistance measurement provides the correct level of ventilation that maintains thermal comfort under different environmental conditions.
The WSFM's test procedure typically involves fitting the manikin with a set of garments or fabrics that are to be evaluated for their thermal comfort. The mannequin is initially heated to body temperature, and the clothes are put directly onto the manikin. Then, the sweating system pumps a controlled amount of water into the fabric to mimic sweat. Once the sweating has been induced, the sensors record the skin's temperature and moisture content, and the mannequin's artificial breathing process helps to simulate natural body processes.
The data collected by the WSFM during the test is analyzed to produce metrics such as thermal insulation, thermal resistance, and thermal comfort. These metrics help to evaluate the effectiveness of different clothing and fabric materials in keeping human bodies comfortable under various conditions, making it an essential tool in the fashion and textile industry.
In conclusion, the Walter Sweating Fabric Manikin is an innovative and remarkable tool that has revolutionized the textile industry's thermal comfort testing. Its ability to simulate the human sweating mechanism and replicate the heat and moisture transfer characteristics of human skin makes it a trusted and reliable testing tool. The WSFM's thermal comfort testing helps to develop new materials and fabric innovations that can maintain the comfort of living and working conditions, as well as save energy by reducing the need for air conditioning and heating.