The physiologic determination of the vapor permeation efficiency of clothing

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Two calculations of the coefficient for vapor permeation efficiency (Fpcl) have been proposed for use in the rational (heat balance) approach to heat stress problems caused by wearing protective clothing-one proposed by Candas et al. (1987) and a second (derived from K′) proposed by Kenney et al. (1987). Both of these coefficients are based on the concept of sweating efficiency and each is used in the calculation of Emax, the maximal evaporative capacity of the environment. This paper compares these 2 approaches based on data collected across several clothing ensembles common to industry. In general, the lighter and more permeable the ensemble, the closer the agreement between the two coefficients. However, as clothing becomes impermeable (e.g., vapor-barrier clothing made of plastic, coated Tyvek®, etc.), use of the former Fpcl significantly overestimates Emax. It is suggested that either calculation can be used for lightweight clothing (although Candas Fpcl is simpler to calculate) but that the Fpcl calculated by Kenney and co-workers is preferable for heavier ensembles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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