Comfort Characterization of Various Fabrics for Extremity Protection

Report No. ARL-TR-6613
Authors: Wai Chin; Susan Gassett; Kyle Slusarski; Nancy Hibbert; Larry Long; Mike Dalzell; Eric D. Wetzel
Date/Pages: September 2013; 48 pages
Abstract: Transport and mechanical properties for a range of knit, woven, and felted fabrics under consideration for extremity protection are reported. The textiles include: knits of silk, polyester, staple aramid, and continuous-filament aramid; plain woven nylon-cotton blend and continuous-filament aramid; and felted aramid and ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene. Transport properties are characterized via water vapor transport at room temperature and body temperature (ASTM E 96), liquid moisture management (AATCC 195), air permeability (ASTM D 747), drying time, and horizontal wicking (AATCC 198). Mechanical properties are determined via uniaxial bending stiffness (ASTM D 1388), circular bending stiffness (ASTM 4032), stretch testing, and a novel test simulating knee-bend. The results show that the knits are likely to be most comfortable, as they offer high air and water vapor permeability with stretchability and low resistance to bending. Correlations between these measurements and garment comfort, as well as potential approaches for balancing comfort and protection requirements, are discussed.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2013