Development and validity of a universal empirical equation to predict skin surface temperature on thermal manikins

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperSpecialist publication article


Clothing evaporative resistance is an important input in thermal comfort models. Thermal manikin tests give the most accurate and reliable evaporative resistance values for clothing. The calculation methods of clothing evaporative resistance require the sweating skin surface temperature (i.e., options 1 and 2). However, prevailing calculation methods of clothing evaporative resistance (i.e., options 3 and 4) are based on the controlled nude manikin surface temperature due to the sensory measurement difficulty. In order to overcome the difficulty of attaching temperature sensors to the wet skin surface and to enhance the calculation accuracy on evaporative resistance, we conducted an intensive skin study on a thermal manikin ‘Tore’. The relationship among the nude manikin surface temperature, the total heat loss and the wet skin surface temperature in three ambient conditions was investigated. A universal empirical equation to predict the wet skin surface temperature of a sweating thermal manikin was developed and validated on the manikin dressed in six different clothing ensembles. The skin surface temperature prediction equation in an ambient temperature range between 25.0 and 34.0 °C is Tsk=34.0–0.0132HL. It is demonstrated that the universal empirical equation is a good alternative to predicting the wet skin surface temperature and facilitates calculating the evaporative resistance of permeable clothing ensembles. Further studies on the validation of the empirical equation on different thermal manikins are needed however.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


  • Heat loss, Skin temperature, Empirical equation, Clothing ensemble, Thermal manikin
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Specialist publication or newspaperJournal of Thermal Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryPopular science