2023 journal article
The Exothermic Effects of Textile Fibers during Changes in Environmental Humidity: A Comparison between ISO:16533 and Dynamic Hot Plate Test Method
The exothermic effects of high regain fiber types have been described before; yet, there have not been reliable tests to demonstrate these effects on the human body. Most test methods focus on steady-state measurements; therefore, these exothermic effects during changes in environmental humidity are typically not analyzed or quantified. We have conducted a set of fabric tests that shows the connection between the exothermic effect of water vapor uptake and its consequence for heat loss through the fabric in transient conditions. We have performed the ISO:16533 standard test, a dynamic hot plate test developed by Naylor to measure the exothermic property of the fabric, and dynamic regain tests to connect the dots between these tests and the water vapor uptake phenomenon. Although the ISO:16533 test method tends to show the temperature increase in fibers, it cannot differentiate between the hygroscopic fiber (wool, viscose, cotton) types (p > 0.001). In addition, sensor size and sample folding techniques could impact the temperature increase. On the other hand, the Naylor hot plate test showed a greater difference in heat release among the fiber types (wool showed 20% higher heat release than viscose, 50% more than cotton), although the relative humidity changes in the chamber take time, which might not reflect a step-wise change in humidity. So far, these test methods have proven to be the most reliable for determining the exothermic behavior of textile fiber. However, these test methods still have limitations and cannot simulate realistic environmental conditions considering an instantaneous change in the environment. This paper reflects the comparison between the two test methods and recommends directions to accurately address the theory of water vapor uptake under dynamic conditions.