Company : Hohenstein Institute

Category : Army

Subcategory : Personal Protection, Medical and Survival Equipment

Key Products : Military textile materials testing, Material thermal insulation testing

As one of the world's leading textile research and testing laboratories, the Hohenstein Institute offers a comprehensive range of testing, and Application-based research and development, as well as inspection and consultancy services to the textile industry and numerous associated areas.

Military textile materials testing and certification services

We provide materials testing and certification for textile safety, wear comfort, textile resistance, fit and design, textile UV protection, antimicrobial effectiveness, flame-retardant finishings, reprocessing of textiles, and many other technical features.

Why is wear comfort so essential for successful missions? Nowadays army forces must be prepared to resolve conflicts anywhere in the world, from blistering deserts to frigid wastelands. Soldiers are the most important and most vulnerable part of a mission and are likely to encounter severe heat stress (even in arctic regions) that must be managed for successful mission accomplishment.

Heat stress results from the interaction of climatic conditions, body heat production, and the wearing of clothing or equipment that impedes heat loss.

Tactical clothing often shows high thermal insulation and low permeability to water vapour, which greatly impedes heat loss, and thus exacerbates heat stress.

Innovative clothing systems may reduce susceptibility to heat injury considerably.

Military textile materials testing for performance and protection

The Hohenstein Institute is uniquely positioned to perform the critical tests necessary to ensure that strict performance requirements are met to ensure that equipment and personnel have the highest levels of protection and wear comfort possible.

Our extensive experience, gained in many years of applied research into clothing physiology and associated areas helps our customers to supply state-of-the-art clothing systems and to develop and improve future products.

Our range of services includes:

  • Requirements analysis
  • Specifications regarding design, size, workmanship, thermophysiological and hygiene properties, as well as durability of clothing systems
  • Consulting regarding selection and development of clothing systems
  • Quality assurance
  • Tests for compliance with technical specifications
  • Product development and optimization

Textile materials testing for comfort in extreme environments

In testing the wear comfort of textiles, a distinction is made between thermophysiological aspects - i.e. the management of warmth and moisture, and how the textile feels on the skin.

Thermo-physiological properties of textile materials

To determine the thermo-physiological quality of textile materials, the Hohenstein skin model simulates the way the skin emits heat and moisture. The measurements supply precise data on thermal insulation and moisture transport resistance, perspiration transport, sweat buffering, and drying time, etc.

Material thermal insulation testing

The thermal insulation of made-up goods, such as combat uniforms, immersion suits, cold protective clothing and sleeping bags can be measured with the help of the Hohenstein developed thermal manikins, which can be electrically heated to characteristic temperature gradients at man's body surface.

To provide for realistic testing the most varied of environments can be created in the climate chambers at the Hohenstein Institute. A precipitation system can be used to create rain of a wide-range of intensities, and a warm wall simulates intense sunshine or heat. A wind machine delivers wind speeds up to 10 m/s.

Military textile testing for skin sensitivity

Skin sensitivity is another significant aspect that influences wear comfort. Garments worn close to the skin should not cling to its surface. Five physical test methods to express touch sensations in numbers have been developed. These test methods are a specialty of Hohenstein Institute and are especially important for military clothing, treated with insect repellent or flame-retardant finishes.

Customized materials testing services

Certain issues, however, require customized solutions. Hohenstein is experienced in setting up tailor-made test design to explore specific problems. And last but not least, the Hohenstein quality label provides manufacturers with a strong marketing tool in international competition.

Contact Details

Hohenstein Institute
Schloss Hohenstein
Boennigheim, 74357
Contact: Dr. Andreas Schmidt
Director Department Function and Care
Phone: +49 (0)7143 271 717
Fax: +49 (0)7143 271 94717

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