Comparison of thermal manikins of different body shapes and size


Differences between manikins may be present due to manikin body shapes (male versus female). In order to examine such differences a study was designed. Comparisons were carried out based on: (1) tight versus loose clothing; (2) serial versus parallel calculation models; (3) even versus uneven clothing (insulation) distribution; and (4) the effect of donning clothes. Differences were observed between female and male manikins depending on body shape. However, these differences were within the range that was observed in the Subzero project, and were comparable with differences between manikins of male body shapes. Manikins behaved differently according to clothing adjustments. Tight-fitting clothes resulted in smaller differences. The effects of donning clothes were more pronounced with the serial calculation model, while the results generated by the serial and parallel calculation models differed more if the insulation was unevenly distributed (24% and 12% respectively). In order to examine the effect of body size, two baby manikins were compared to an adult manikin. The experimental conditions involved air layer insulation measurements (AL), lying on the back on an insulating surface (OB), and lying on the back on an insulating surface, covered with a sheet (OBS, baby manikins only). The acquired AL insulation for all manikins were very similar. The insulation value of adult manikin tested under condition OB differed from the others. This was related to flexible joints allowing the arms and legs to be in contact with the insulating surface, while baby manikins retained their arms and legs in the air. The baby manikins performed similarly in OBS tests.

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Correspondence to Kalev Kuklane.

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Kuklane, K., Sandsund, M., Reinertsen, R.E. et al. Comparison of thermal manikins of different body shapes and size. Eur J Appl Physiol 92, 683–688 (2004).

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  • Manikin
  • Female
  • Male
  • Thermal insulation
  • Calculation model
  • Insulation distribution