Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1989;15 suppl 1:84-94    pdf

Use of thermal manikins in environmental ergonomics.

by Wyon DP

Thermal manikins are a fairly standard tool in environmental ergonomics. As they can provide a rapid, accurate, and reproducible simulation of the physical processes of dry heat loss to the environment, their main application is in the study of neutral or cold conditions at relatively low activity levels. Thermal manikins provide a good estimate of the total dry heat loss from the body and the distribution of heat flow over the body surface. In a standard environment, these measures can be used to describe the thermal characteristics of clothing. With standard clothing, complex thermal environments, eg, as in vehicles, can also be quantitatively compared and evaluated. Future developments include improved simulation of evaporative heat loss; improved software for simulating internal heat transfer, heat storage, and vasoconstriction; reactive programs with target total heat loss; empirical equations predicting manikin response to temperature, air velocity, etc; and standard techniques for testing diving and survival suits.