MRI-R2: Acquisition of a Thermal Manikin and Guarded Sweating Hotplate for Optimization of Functional Apparel Systems to Regulate Heat and Moisture

Grant Details


This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

This project requests funds to acquire a physiological monitoring and biofeedback system, a sweating thermal manikin and a guarded sweating hotplate. This instrumentation enables the researchers to empirically measure temperature and humidity flow from the human torso through various fabrics, finishes and garment assemblies. From this empirical data, computational models will be developed to model this flow as a function of body location, allowing prototype apparel to be designed and tested on humans to evaluate the human comfort level and the functional apparel's performance at regulating temperature and moisture. The results of this research can be applied towards the design of functional apparel for enhancing performance in sports, military, protective wear, work wear while improving human comfort.

These research results may show the importance of human centered design on the development of functional apparel. Currently, functional apparel is designed to manage temperature and moisture without considering the differences in temperature and humidity in different locations of the human torso, leading to increased material costs by using expensive fabrics and/or finishes where they are not needed. One outcome from this research may be the manufacture of functional apparel which perform their desired functions (such as effectively managing heat and moisture of a physically active individual) while increasing perceived comfort and reducing the cost to purchase the apparel. This instrumentation and data will also be used directly by students in computer science, mechanical engineering and apparel design in a multidisciplinary team environment.

Effective start/end date01/1/1012/31/12


  • National Science Foundation: $349,997.00


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