Project Profile - Newton Female Conversion



Newton Reveals His Feminine Side


Thermetrics' advanced “Newton” thermal manikin system was designed as a 50th percentile male body form, but now, thanks to customer requests and Thermetrics' creative engineering team, select Newton models can be quickly converted to a female body so lab operators can test the thermal properties of women’s garments.


This very useful gender conversion capability is accomplished through the addition of a breast overlay zone, designed to fully cover torso zone #9 on the 20-zone and 26-zone Newton models. To use, the breast zone is mounted, secured (via attachment points at each shoulder), and plugged in. This disables the underlying thermal zone in Newton’s control software, and measurement data from the breast zone is recorded instead. When testing is completed and the breast overlay zone is disconnected and removed, the underlying torso zone again functions as normal.


This unprecedented shape-changing versatility means that laboratories can expand their thermal comfort test capabilities to include both men’s and women’s clothing, without investing in a second thermal manikin system. New customers (and new research projects) focused on the development of high-performance women’s garments can now be well-served by laboratories that own a Newton manikin system. 


One example that reveals how our Newton female conversion upgrade opened the door to expanded research opportunities comes from Australia’s RMIT University, where their 26-zone Newton was used to investigate the impact of garment design on the thermal properties of female fire-fighter jackets:


“Use of Thermal manikin in Female form for research into structural fire-fighter’s jackets for female fire-fighters” (Ms. Nazia Nawaz, Dr. Olga Troynikov, RMIT University, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia).


Materials have critical influence on human physiological comfort and performance; however it is not sufficient to evaluate thermal comfort and protection offered by protective clothing at the level of material structures alone. Garment style, fit and construction are also important factors to consider as the fit of the garment is directly linked to the size of the air gaps between human skin and inner surface of clothing, and thus is a key factor not only in protective efficiency of the garment but also in a process of heat loss from a human body.


It is clear that the size and distribution of air gaps between the garment and the skin would be substantially different if the protective jacket is worn on male or female form, especially in the area of chest/bust. The thermal manikin in female form was used in research conducted by PhD student Ms Nazia Nawaz under supervision of A.Professor Olga Troynikov to evaluate the influence of the difference in male and female body form on the size and distribution of these air gaps, as well as performance attributes of the garments relevant to their thermo physiological comfort. As a result of this research the commercial prototype of a fire-fighter jacket specifically designed for the female body form was developed.


The new breast cover zone is constructed using the same carbon-epoxy laminate technology used in all Newton thermal manikin models. Skin temperature sensors are imbedded in the shell for protection against damage, and zone controllers are mounted internally - for increased measurement accuracy, reduced signal noise, and precise control of zone heating and sweating functions. All mea­surements are digitized within inches of their source. 


When Newton is converted to female form the manikin’s bust circumference is 40” (101.5cm) with under-bust of 33” (84cm). The CAD images shown reflect these dimensions. While Newton in female form does not align fully with 50th percentile female anthropometrics, this new capability does provide a simple, reliable, high-value means to differentiate between men’s and women’s garments by altering the manikin’s torso geometry. 


As you may have noticed, custom projects are something we enjoy - but helping our customers reach their goals is something we like even better. For over 25 years Thermetrics (a subsidiary of Measurement Technology NW) has manufactured a range of precision instruments for measuring and evaluating the thermal comfort of textiles, garments, and environments such as automobile, truck, and aircraft interiors. Thermetrics systems support all major ASTM, ISO, and ENV textile testing standards. To learn more, contact Thermetrics at 206-456-9119, or send an email inquiry to

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