Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Enterprise Awards 2013

Consultancy

Woman front and back views of heat areas when clothing exposed to extreme weather conditions

Loughborough clothing ergonomics provide expert testing

Loughborough academics
Professor George Havenith and Dr Simon Hodder, Design School

Clothing ergonomics forms a key part of the work of Loughborough’s Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre, a specialist facility that studies the interaction of people with their physical environment. The clothing ergonomics team counts amongst its clients global sports companies, the defence industry and high street clothing brands.

Each relies on the team’s expertise to ensure that its products meet the diverse requirements of wearers – be they athletes, military personnel, emergency service staff or fashion-conscience teenagers.

Using a pair of state-of-the-art manikins – affectionately named Newton and Victoria – the team push garments to their limits, exposing them to environmental extremes in a range of facilities including climatic chambers that can simulate an 80ºC temperature range; 10-95% (above zero ºC) humidity; air speed controllable 0.1-0.5 m/s and altitude simulation of up to 7,000m.
 
The rigorous testing process allows the team to advise product developers on the performance of fabrics and clothing under duress and report on durability, ventilation, thermal radiation and heat retention.

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