Protection performance evaluation
Thermal Protective Performance Tester (TPP/HTP)
The thermal protective performance tester/heat transfer performance tester can measure the conductive and convective heat transferred through and stored in the test specimen during exposure. The measurement can be used to predict the time to get a second degree burn and thereby evaluate the thermal protective performance of the specimen.
The off-gassing tester is specifically designed to work with the TPP tester to collect the off-gas released during and after exposing a specimen to heat. The off-gas can be collected in gas form or in designated chemical solutions for further study such as gas analysis and/or GS-MS analysis.
Radiant Protective Performance Tester (RPP)
The Radiant protective performance tester can measure the convective heat transferred through the test specimen during the period of exposure. This measurement can be used to predict the time to second degree burns and thus provide an evaluation of the specimen’s radiant protective performance. The following two tests can be performed:
- ASTM F 1939 – Standard Test Method for Radiant Heat Resistance of Flame Resistant Clothing Materials with Continuous Heating
- ASTM F 2702 – Standard Test Method for Radiant Heat Performance of Flame Resistant Clothing Materials with Burn Injury Prediction
Steam and Hot Liquid Splash and Immerse Tester
The steam and hot liquid splash and immerse tester can simulate exposure to hazards such as steam splash, hot liquid splash, and immersion in a hot liquid with or without applying compression. The tests measure the total heat transferred to the specimen and predict the burn time as a function of exposure time, compression pressure and time.
The cone calorimeter is used to study the thermal degradation of the test specimen for different radiant heat flux levels. It provides information such as the heat release rate, total heat release, smoke release rate, and weight loss rate. In addition, a specifically designed sensor will be attached to the specimen to measure the heat transferred to a human during the thermal degradation process which allows to predict the burn time. The following two tests can be performed:
- ASTM E 1354 Standard Test Method for Heat and Visible Smoke Release Rates for Materials and Products Using an Oxygen Consumption Calorimeter
- ISO 5660-1 Reaction-to-fire tests – Heat release, smoke production and mass loss rate.
Comfort performance evaluation
Sweating Hot Plate
The sweating hot plate instrumentation provides an assessment of heat and moisture (vapor) transport through the material. The sweating guarded hot plate determines the thermal resistance (insulation), evaporative resistance (breathability/permeability) of a material, as well as the Total Heat Loss from the plate through the fabric. These are widely used characterizations for determining a clothing system’s impact on heat and moisture transfer between the wearer and the environment. We use a large sweating hot plate to carry out several tests based on a range of different standards. The following two tests can be performed:
- ASTM F 1868 Standard Test Method for Thermal and Evaporative Resistance of Clothing Materials Using a Sweating Hot Plate
- ISO 11092 Textiles – Physiological effects – Measurement of thermal and water-vapor resistance under steady-state conditions (sweating guarded-hotplate test)
The sweating manikin systems are used to evaluate entire garment systems (or components of garment systems) with regard to heat and moisture management, assessing their insulation and breathability. By measuring these values on a human form, the garments can be evaluated under realistic field conditions while varying environmental parameters in a controlled manner. Effects of fit, garment construction and design (including air gaps) are taken into account. Hence the sweating manikin is capable of providing much better estimates of the heat loss of the entire apparel ensemble under different environmental conditions. In addition, the manikin can also be used to simulate walking through the use of an articulated walking frame.
The sweating hand is designed to evaluate heat and moisture management properties of glove systems. This equipment simulates heat and sweat production and transportation which allows us to evaluate the thermal comfort of gloves for a range of environmental parameters. Simultaneous heat and moisture transport through the glove system, including local variations in different areas of the hand can be quantified. As there are no established standards for sweating hand testing, we use the same environmental parameters as in the sweating manikin test standards.
Video-based optical contact angle measuring instrument
Our video-based optical contact angle measuring system allows for state-of-the-art professional fabric/film contact angle measurements as well as drop shape analyses which can also be carried out on relatively large samples. The OCA 15Pro has long x- and y-axes and comes with custom made high temperature furnaces (developed in our lab). The following tests can be run:
- ISO 6295 – Determination of interfacial tension of oil against water
- ISO 6889 – Surface active agents – determination of interfacial tension by drawing up liquid films
- ASTM D971-99a – Standard test method for interfacial tension of oil against water by the ring method
- ASTM D1417-03a– Standard method of testing rubber lattices – synthetic
- DIN EN 14210– Surface active substances; determination of interfacial tension of surface active solutions by frame and ring method
Dynamic contact angle measuring instrument and tensiometer
The dynamic contact angle measuring instrument and tensiometer DCAT 11 is the standard instrument for the weight-based measurement of contact angles, surface and interfacial tension, critical micelle formation concentration, density, sedimentation and penetration rate, as well as penetration resistance.
Air Permeability Test
An Atlas air permeability tester will be used to test the air permeability (breathability) of sample fabrics according to ASTM standard.
- ASTM D737 Standard Test Method for Air Permeability of Textile Fabrics
An Agilent Cary 300 UV-Vis spectrophotometer will be used to test UV radiation transmission through sample fabrics and to determine the wavelength dependent abortion and reflection properties. In addition, it can perform a color analysis and measure various sets of color coordination data.
An Instron universal tensile tester is used to test the tensile strength, breaking strength, tearing strength, and seam strength of test samples such as garment parts, fabrics, and fibers according to the following ASTM standards:
- ASTM C1557, D3822, D4964, D2261, D2653, D2731, D7269, D7744, D7812, D1294, D2256, D1445, D5034, D5035, D6775, D2261, D1683.
A Taber abrasion tester will be used to test the abrasion resistance of sample fabrics according to the following ASTM standard:
- ASTM D3884 Standard Guide for Abrasion Resistance of Textile Fabrics (Rotary Platform, Double-Head Method)
Random Tumble Test
An Atlas random tumble tester will be used to test the pilling resistance of sample fabrics according to the following ASTM standard:
- ASTM D3512 Standard Test Method for Pilling Resistance and Other Related Surface Changes of Textile Fabrics: Random Tumble Pilling Tester.
A vertical flame tester will be used to test the flammability of samples under controlled environmental conditions. Flame time, char length, visible damage to the test specimen, and melting or dripping are among the parameters that will be measured and recorded. The following test can be run:
- ASTM D6413 Standard Test Method for Flame Resistance of Textiles (Vertical Test)
Color Fastness Test
Various colorfastness tests against washing (Launder-O-meter), light (Day light), rubbing (Crocking) can be run according to AATCC or ISO standards.