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Fibres/​Yarns/​Fabrics

Study shows Dryarn offers high thermo-physiological comfort

A recent study performed by the LATT laboratory in Biella, Italy is said to have shown that Aquafil Spa’s Dryarn, an innovative polypropylene micro fibre designed for high performance materials for underwear, sportswear and special technical applications even under extreme conditions, is superior to the other fibres analysed in terms of thermo-regulation, breathability and drying speed. Turin Polytechnic's Department for Materials Science and Chemical Engineering and the

12th April 2011

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Turin

Sports/​Outdoor, Medical/Hygiene, Clothing/​Footwear

A recent study performed by the LATT laboratory in Biella, Italy is said to have shown that Aquafil Spa’s Dryarn, an innovative polypropylene micro fibre designed for high performance materials for underwear, sportswear and special technical applications even under extreme conditions, is superior to the other fibres analysed in terms of thermo-regulation, breathability and drying speed.

A recent study performed by the LATT laboratory in Biella, Italy is said to have shown that Aquafil Spa’s Dryarn, an innovative polypropylene micro fibre designed for high performance materials for underwear, sportswear and special technical applications even under extreme conditions, is superior to the other fibres analysed in terms of thermo-regulation, breathability and drying speed.

Turin Polytechnic's Department for Materials Science and Chemical Engineering and the ‘Associazione Tessile e Salute’ (Fabrics and Health Association) recently completed the project, the objective of which was to evaluate the thermo-physiological comfort of a 100% Dryarn fabric, when compared with equivalent fabrics in cotton, nylon and polyester.

During the various phases of the project, Dryarn was subjected to physical laboratory tests aimed at evaluating its thermo-physiological comfort characteristics and to trials involving the wearing of the fabric in a climate-controlled room to test the actual behaviour of a Dryarn T-shirt during sports activity.

Physical laboratory tests

The tested fabric, which was made with Dryarn microfibers, was subjected to a comparison test with equivalent fabrics in cotton, nylon and polyester. The results of the tests are said to show that Dryarn guarantees higher performance compared to the other fabrics, in terms of lightness of weight, drying speed and ability to allow perspiration to escape easily: properties that translate into an excellent capacity for thermo-regulation and earning Dryarn the highest comfort index among the fibres tested.

The second phase of the project, which involved the wearing of Dryarn fabric in a room under controlled climate conditions, tested the actual behaviour of a T-shirt made of Dryarn when worn under conditions of high exertion with significant perspiration. According to the researchers, these tests were fundamental in evaluating the reaction of the fibre during sporting activities and to compare it to the results obtained from T-shirts similarly manufactured but in cotton and polyester respectively.

The test was conducted inside a climate-controlled room under constant conditions of temperature (25°C) and relative humidity (50%). The athletes who took part in the test rode on a Cyclo Ergometer inside the room and it was possible to monitor the effort expended, metabolic responses and heart rate. During each single test ride, the mean skin temperature, temperature and humidity of the T-shirt/skin microclimate, loss of moisture through perspiration and speed of drying of the T-shirts, both during the various test phases and at the end of the activity, were monitored.

 The test was performed in four phases: initial acclimatisation (20 minutes), three phases of physical exercise (10 minutes each) with a 10-minute rest between each and a final 30-minute phase to recuperate. The combination of data on the physiological skin, physical characteristics of the fabrics and the subjective feedback from the group of athletes involved, enabled specific correlations to be calculated for the evaluation of comfort.

“In all the parameters monitored during the tests carried out on volunteers, the advantages of Dryarn over cotton for the production of sportswear emerged quite clearly. The athletes wearing the Dryarn T-shirt had a lower heart rate and therefore less cardiocirculatory stress,” the research team said.

“In particular, the thermo-physiological comfort of the Dryarn T-shirt is principally underpinned by its excellent thermo-regulatory capacity (less variation in skin temperature around the mean value) thanks to its low thermal resistance, its breathability and the management of perspiration that is allowed to escape from the skin to be rapidly released onto the outside of the fabric, thus guaranteeing swift drying. The Dryarn fabric therefore guarantees an excellent performance both during exercise and during the rest/recuperation phases," the researchers said.

The study was conducted by Barbara Cravello and Roberta Splendore for the Associazione Tessile e Salute and by Ada Ferri and Francesca Dotti for the Turin Polytechnic, department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering.

 

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