WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — March 9, 2016 — A new ASTM International standard will help clothing makers test the thermal properties of their fabrics, keeping consumers comfortable in their products. The new standard will soon be published as D7984, Test Method for Measurement of Thermal Effusivity of Fabrics Using a Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS) Instrument.
Measuring the thermal effusivity of textiles reveals the rate at which a fabric absorbs heat when it first comes into contact with skin. ASTM member Shannon Yawney, a research analyst in product innovation at Mark’s, notes that a fabric with a low thermal effusivity would feel warmer to the initial touch and would be slower to transfer heat away from the body, thus keeping the wearer feeling warmer. Conversely, for summer apparel, in which someone wants to stay cool, a higher thermal effusivity is desirable, as fabric will quickly draw heat away from the skin on initial contact.
The new standard will be useful to textile mills as a benchmark test method to compare and develop new technologies for managing heat. At the same time, clothing developers will benefit from an objective method for evaluating how fabric manages heat from the body.
In addition to clothing, the standard could help designers with their material selection and development for other items such as bed sheets, furniture and automobile upholstery.
Posted March 9, 2016