|Comfort! Everyone wants comfort. Air-conditioning systems have |
been invented for the purpose of providing comfort to the
inhabitants of buildings. The science of psychometry was
developed to understand the properties of the air - the
temperatures, humidity and the heat values.
However, the human body, a marvelous piece of creation can
adjust itself to changing climatic conditions to provide comfort
to the owner. It has become quite common knowledge that sweating
and their evaporation cools down the body.
Have you tried wrapping yourself in a plastic sheet? You will
feel warm because of the air trapped within the sheet. However,
after a while, you will sweat and you will feel very
uncomfortable indeed. Why?
It has to do with what air-conditioning people call the comfort
zone. According to them, most people will feel comfortable
between 70 to 78 degree Fahrenheit at about 50% relative humidity
wearing light clothing and when seated or at rest and without
There is also a difference in comfort levels when we do different
activities. When we feel comfortable wearing woolen jackets to
keep warm while we are at rest, don't we feel uncomfortable when
we are running or doing strenuous activities? Clearly just
wearing a jacket will not automatically make us more comfortable.
On a hot day, you will want to take off everything. Well, society
dictates that you cannot do that, or you will be charged with
indecent behavior. Anyway, that's the easiest way to become
comfortable. The body's thermoregulatory action will make your
In nature, the body has a very good self-temperature regulatory
action. When we sweat, the latent heat of vaporization takes away
the heat from the body. However, if the sweat were to be
evaporated, a person with all the sweat glands fully opened up
can even feel a chill. Putting on clothing will hinder that
process of evaporation.
In cold weather, how would you want to wear just a thin piece of
clothing, instead of layers after layers of thick clothing? You
don't want to look like an astronaut with their bulky suit, do
you? You might look a bit too fat and clumsy!
Moreover, some clothing will retain the water, so much so that
even when the outside is cold, you are actually sweating inside.
That's the condition of condensation. The same thing happens when
a glass of cold water is put in a warm atmosphere. The water
comes out from the air around the glass and become water droplets.
Your body becomes wet from your perspiration.
You become uncomfortable.
How do furry animals keep warm or cool? They don't wear clothing
like humans. They seem to be able to adjust their body
temperatures in their fur to all weather conditions. Can that be
Scientists have been searching for the solution to comfortable
all weather clothing for ages. They were searching for that
special fiber that can duplicate the thermoregulatory action of
a human body and yet feels comfortable to wear.
They have tried using capillary action of closely spaced fibers
to draw the liquid from the sweat to the surface and then to
evaporate. However in order to be effective, the fabric need to
be worn close to the skin in order to transport the moisture.
Whenever the capillary fabric gaps, the draw is broken and it
becomes ineffective. The result - heat is lost for the wearer.
Wearing tight clothing can be quite uncomfortable sometimes.
Maybe they are not so fashionable, or just do not fit the many
different body sizes.
The latest technological breakthrough lies in utilizing
electrostatic charges in the fibers. Scientists are now able to
move moisture from the body whenever a wearer perspires in warm
temperatures using electrostatic charges in the fibers. As the
wearer's activity decreases, the fabric will reduce the
evaporative process, leaving a constant water barrier between
the wearer and the fabric.
In cold temperatures, a layer of 100% relative humidity is
formed between the skin and the fabric, creating an area of moist
air that holds more heat during cooler temperatures. By using
electrostatic charges to pull the moisture away from the skin,
scientists are able to increase the heat capacity of the trapped
air next to the skin and the wearer feels warm.
Individual molecules are separated much faster and thus favor
These fibers are special.
They actually duplicate and enhance the thermoregulatory actions
of the body! They create a vapor barrier to keep you cool when
the weather is warm and warm when the weather is cold.
Many years of working experience in Marine, Facilities,
Construction has given the author material for writing e-books
and articles related to engineering, and management. Subscribe to facworld ezine
More information at Marine Engineer and M & E Engineer
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