Quantifying Thermal Touch Performance – Thermal Effusivity Applied in Fabric Selection, Validation and Quality Control

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Susan Sokolowski, Associate Professor; Director, Sports Product Design Program at the University of Oregon

A fabric’s “warm feel” or “cool touch” is considered a critical performance attribute in a number of applications including thermal underwear, bedding, athletic apparel, and many other softlines.  Suppliers of such performance textiles compete on claims of thermal performance, with product teams faced with the challenge of determining how best to assess and validate properties such as the touch performance.  For example, the consumer’s haptic or touch response at point of purchase is critical to the perception of quality and product performance.  If the apparel is marketed for its cooling performance but does not feel cool to the touch, not only are there implications from a long-term cooling perspective but the commercial success of the apparel is greatly stymied.  Leading brands understand the importance of touch perception and quantifying it in their fabric selection and quality control.   This webinar will provide an overview on developments in the standardization of touch performance with the establishment of the ASTM D7984 test method for measuring the thermal effusivity of fabrics.   

This webinar will additionally feature an update from Dr. Susan Sokolowski of the University of Oregon on a study her group has been running the past year, sponsored by the top apparel brands in the industry and C-Therm Technologies Ltd.  Dr. Sokolowki’s group has been developing a spectrum to segment product performance based on thermal effusivity in classifying optimal ranges of thermal effusivity for “cool touch” and conversely “warm feel”.  This project will ultimately address the question of – how can we best label materials “warm” or “cool” touch with a full supporting statistical analysis.  Thermal effusivity spectrums will be devised to establish thresholds for performance categorization of test materials. 

This webinar is recommended for Product Managers, Innovation Teams and Quality Control personnel in the apparel, bedding  and other softline goods where touch is considered an important performance attribute. 

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