A research paper by Uwe Reischl, professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health, titled “Fabric Cooling by Water Evaporation” was published recently in the Journal of Fiber Bioengineering and Informatics, JFBI. 2016, 9 (4): 237-245. The topic addresses heat-stress reduction strategies relevant to athletes and workers exposed to hot and dry environments.
The paper describes the impact of clothing moisture and wetness on the fabric evaporative cooling capacity. The study was based on wind-tunnel tests measuring the evaporative cooling exhibited by selected textile materials including cotton, polyester, nylon and silk. The results showed that onset and magnitude of evaporative cooling is determined by the amount of water retained in a fabric. The study also showed that a person is able to experience more cooling by sweat evaporation when wearing single-layered clothing than when not being covered by clothing. The information obtained provides new insights into the evaporative cooling process of fabrics and will assist in the selection of garment materials to optimize comfort and safety.
The research paper was co-authored with Professor R.S. Goonetilleke of The Hong Kong University Science and Technology (HKUST) in Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong.