American Innovators Highlights our ANDI Manikin at Arizona State University

A recent episode of “Made in America: American Innovators” showcased the vital heat research happening at Arizona State University to reduce heat-related injuries and deaths.
 
And featured prominently was none other than our very own ANDI thermal manikin.
 

 
Come take a look at how one of the top-ranked universities in pursuit of UN sustainability goals is partnering ANDI with their own biometeorological tools to develop novel heat mitigation solutions.
 
Watch ANDI in the desert.
 
The work happening at ASU is a great example of how Thermetrics’ systems can complement and enhance your current or future testing endeavors.
 
We welcome your creative ideas for taking our systems to new heights! At Thermetrics, anything is possible (well, almost anything). If you dream it, we can build it.
 
Reach out and let’s discuss the possibilities.
 

MSN Celebrates Nike’s 50th Anniversary and our Liz Manikin

Better sports bras, anyone? Nike thinks so.
 
Quoted in a recent MSN feature, Nike credited our Liz Thermal Manikin in their development of more size-inclusive and performance-optimized sports bras for women.
 
Thermetrics female manikin Liz(The team at Nike calls her Haley, but we’re hooked on the original Liz moniker!)
 
Read the MSN article here.
 
Nike uses Liz for both quality control and testing, and also at earlier product development stages when designers are considering enhancement options like additional ventilation or sweat wicking.
 
If you’d like to join Nike in their quest to “create the best products possible for [women]” or if you’ve made great progress with your Newton or ANDI, and realize it’s time to bring on a partner that will allow you to specifically test garments on the female form, Liz is your gal!
 
Reach out to discuss your testing needs.
 

ICEE in Niagara Falls!

Sept 6th - 10th, 2022

Thermetrics was honored to be a co-sponsor of the 19th International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics (ICEE).
 
Shout out to Dr. Stephen Cheung, the ICEE Conference organizing committee, and everyone who attended the Sept 2022 conference in Niagara Falls.
 
Thermetrics ICEE 2022
 

What is ICEE?

ICEE is a biennial gathering for researchers, practitioners, and anyone with a passion for the interaction between humans, clothing, and environments. The event always includes oral and poster presentations covering a wide range of relevant and practical topics. It’s also a great chance to catch up with long-time colleagues and form new connections over good food and good laughs.
 

 

When and where is ICEE?

The 2022 conference took place September 6th – 10th. Overlooking the scenic Niagara Falls (that’s the Canada side), this year’s conference was hosted by Dr. Stephen S. Cheung of Brock University and featured an inspiring opening keynote by Mike Tipton.
 
We enjoyed the historical lectures, insightful scientific and research presentations, and interesting poster sessions. Great conference! Smart people, relevant content, beautiful location, and tasty food. 
 
Rick and Monet had a blast, and we’re already looking forward to the next ICEE, hosted by Seoul National University, June 2024 in Jeju Korea. Hope to see you there!
 
Team Thermetrics

What IS a Testing Continuum?

Learn how our two testing sequences support optimal performance

In our earliest days at Thermetrics, our customers helped us understand that a unidimensional approach to product testing only tells you part of the story.
 
The need for a comprehensive and multi-tiered testing sequence is even more apparent when the products you’re developing are the vital tools of performance and safety for end users like athletes, explorers, and everyday heroes who need top notch protection from extreme hot and cold conditions.
 
We’ve developed our testing instrument portfolio to cover a wide range of product evaluation needs and test standards. As our product offerings have grown, it’s become more complex to communicate how they relate within a comprehensive product development strategy. Enter our two testing continuum structures for Thermal/Moisture Management and Thermal Protection.
 
Let’s explore them both.

The Thermal and Moisture Management Testing Continuum

Thermetrics Thermal and Moisture Management Testing Continuum

* Want a copy of this image for your reference, or to support discussions with your team? Download this Testing Continuum.
 
As its name suggests, this testing continuum was created to facilitate optimal garment development, with a particular focus on quantifying heat and/or moisture transfer.
 
The 5 phases of the Thermal and Moisture Management Testing Continuum are:

  • Flat Sample Testing
  • Cylinder Testing
  • Thermal Manikin Testing
  • Physiology & Comfort Model Integration
  • End-User Product

 

1D. Flat Sample Testing
The basis of system testing starts with understanding the components. This includes accurate, repeatable measurements of thermal resistance (Rct) and vapor permeability (Ret) for single and multi-layer textiles.
 

2D. Cylinder Testing
Quantify the impact of undergarment and within-garment air gaps by fitting materials and layered systems on a controlled and repeatable cylinder geometry.
 

3D. Thermal Manikin Testing
Final products are tested for ultimate thermal and moisture management performance, combining materials, layers, and garment design features in-use on an actual body form with realistic fit.
 

4D. Physiology & Comfort Model Integration
Turn your manikin into a human simulator with a new software dimension that simulates complex human thermoregulation, comfort perception, and potential burn injury.
 

5D. End-User Product
The end user product gets its own dimension. Every stage of component and product evaluation needs to be focused on improving the user experience, whether safety, comfort, or value. Testing through the entire continuum gives your customer the confidence of ultimate product performance while keeping testing costs lower.
 

The Thermal Protection Testing Continuum

Thermetrics Thermal Management Testing Continuum

* Want a copy of this image for your reference, or to support discussions with your team? Download this Testing Continuum.
 
This testing continuum was designed to demystify the complex interactions between high heat sources, protective garments, and the brave individuals we aspire to protect. Ensuring that they receive the appropriate level of life and safety protection should not be left to chance.
 
The 5 phases of the Thermal Protection Testing Continuum are:

  • Flat Sample Testing
  • Cylinder Testing
  • Flame Manikin Testing
  • Burn Model Integration
  • End-User Product

 

1D. Flat Sample Testing
Understand and characterize materials as flat samples and materials stack-ups. This can include intrinsic thermal properties, and also performance under compression or high-intensity heat exposure.
 

2D. Cylinder Testing
Capture effects of air gaps, vertical orientation, and fabric dimensional change or shrinkage.
 

3D. Flame Manikin Testing
Evaluate finished goods on full- and partial-body manikin forms to understand the combined effects of materials, layers, and garment fit.
 

4D. Burn Model Integration
Estimate burn injury through a multi-node skin tissue model.
 
5D. End-User Product
The end user product gets its own dimension. Every stage of component and product evaluation needs to be focused on improving the user experience, whether safety, comfort, or value. Testing through the entire continuum gives your customer the confidence of ultimate product performance while keeping testing costs lower.
 

In conclusion…

The thoroughness of these testing continuums delivers the certainty that you’re developing products that can withstand the world’s most extreme conditions and keep every end user safe, supported, and as comfortable as possible.
 
Wherever you want to be on the testing continuum, Thermetrics has a solution to help you get there. Contact us directly.

Thermetrics Hosts ASTM Week ‘Fire and Ice’ Event

On the cusp of the summer 2022 season, the Thermetrics team was delighted to open our factory doors for an evening we won’t forget anytime soon.

 

Our “Fire and Ice” event included manikin factory tours, flash fire cylinder demonstrations, and a steady supply of spicy margaritas, of course.

 

thermetrics flash fire demo
One of the evening’s Flash Fire Cylinder demonstrations

And who can forget the delight of our Lead Service Engineer, Daniel Corona, surprising us all with a musical performance alongside his talented band, Mariachi Alma Nueva. 

 

Mariachi Alma Nueva, featuring our very own Daniel Corona, second from right

However, the greatest highlight of the evening was connecting with long-time colleagues and new acquaintances in person. Our deepest thanks to everyone who attended!

 

thermetrics astm fire and ice event
Selfie fun with our ANDI Manikin!

If you’d like to be notified about future Thermetrics events, please drop your email in the box below.

 

And safe travels back home for all our non-local attendees!

 

Rick Burke and Team Thermetrics 

Liz Female Thermal Manikin Puts in the Reps at Nike’s Innovation Center

We’re excited to share with the Thermetrics community that two of our thermal manikins were highlighted in a recent Fast Company article showcasing Nike’s LeBron James Innovation Center.


Our new female thermal manikin Liz was pictured alongside our Newton manikin on treadmills inside one of the lab’s environmental chambers. Each manikin, garbed in Nike athletic apparel, could be seen being put through the paces in a high-temperature, high-humidity environment, connected to specialized control software. 

Image credit: Photo by Mark Wilson, senior writer at Fast Company

The Liz female manikin, like her brother Newton, is divided into body regions that can be independently temperature- and sweat rate-controlled. The system measures thermal and moisture management behavior of garments in real-time with a high degree of realism. Such data can be used to improve end-user protection and thermal comfort in performance wear and protective apparel.


We commend Nike for taking such a forward-thinking approach to the design and testing of athletic garments for the female form! 


Do you develop performance wear or protective apparel for women; test products for women; or do research into thermal safety and comfort? Reach out for more information about our Liz female thermal manikin and view the full product page here.

    Are you considering an equipment purchase?Are you looking for help with product testing?Are you looking for help with an existing product?

    Happy Retirement Dave!

    After 18+ years at Thermetrics, Dave Heiss, our International Sales Director, will be retiring at the end of May (May 28, 2021). When Dave joined Thermetrics in 2003, we were a box of thermal geeks without a promotional voice. Since that time, Dave has grown our domestic and international sales and also been the “behind-the-scenes” author for brochures, product literature, newsletters, the website blog, and other company communications. Chances are it was Dave who introduced you to the many manikin and hotplate innovations developed by Thermetrics over the years.

    Dave Heiss, Thermetrics alumnus and future island hopper

    Of course, if you attended a trade show or conference Dave was the person you were most likely to see. Dave has been the face of Thermetrics for half of the company’s existence, and he will be missed. 



    Despite our best attempts to chain him to his desk, there are mountains, pastures and hiking shoes, along with grandkids waiting for him. We wish Dave well and thank him for sharing his time and talent with the Thermetrics family. Feel free to connect with him in the next few weeks to share your memories and gratitude.

    Aki Sirkkola, Thermetrics International Sales

    Aki has been part of Thermetrics service/support division since he joined the company in 2014, and he will bring impressive technical knowledge to the international sales role.  There is a good chance you already know Aki, as he has worked with the vast majority of Thermetrics customers and on our systems in the field.



    So please join me in a heartfelt goodbye to Dave and a warm welcome to Aki as he steps into the International Sales position.

    Introducing the newest member of our thermal manikin family

    April 7, 2021

    Thermetrics is proud to present our newly developed female thermal manikin! May 4, 2021 Update: The community has spoken and the final selected name is Liz. Thank you to all who participated in her naming!

     

    Our manikins have measured comfort in car cabins, estimated heat stress in protective wear, evaluated space suits for NASA, and supported testing for countless other scenarios. But, all of these scenarios have been tested using a male manikin.

     

    It’s time all garments and gear designed for females are tested with female manikins. Female thermal manikins are vastly underrepresented in the research and testing arena, and those that are in use often resemble store mannequins—a far cry from realistic female anthropometry. As a result, products designed to enhance performance, health, and safety for women may not perform as promised.

     

    You’ve designed for women. Now you can test for women.

     

     

    About the names

    Cori. “Cori” is suggested to honor Gerty Cori (1896-1957) who was the first woman awarded the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine. She earned the Nobel Prize in 1947 for her discovery of the course of carbohydrate metabolism, where glucose is broken down into lactic acid and used for energy storage, known as the Cori Cycle. Gerti Cora was a trailblazer during an era of male-dominated scientific research. Understanding energy storage and consumption is key for thermal manikins, especially if they couple to a physiology model like this one does.

    Joules. The name Joules is a natural nod to the energy balance critical to the design and use of Thermal manikins. The Joule is a derived energy unit equivalent to kg m2/sec2. More practically, one Joule is the energy dissipated when 1 ampere flows through a resistance of 1 ohm. Or in the case of this specific female manikin with surface area of 1.61 square meters, a 1 MET activity level during a 30 minute ASTM F2370 test duration would generate 168,664 Joules from the manikin heaters.

    Liz. The name “Liz” is proposed in honor of Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” McCullough who spent her career working with manikins, and who was a strong female leader and pioneer in this field. No female scientist worldwide has done more with thermal manikins to advance testing, development, and standardization of improved protective clothing, sleeping systems, and personal protective equipment. Liz has published over 100 scientific papers and book chapters, and her work has been incorporated into textbooks in multiple languages. She has been the primary author of several ASTM standards, including standards utilizing thermal manikins. Liz was the driving force behind developing a successful and internationally known textile testing program using manikins at Kansas State University.