Characterizing the stickiness property of fibrous materials under wet skin surface: Textile Friction Tester

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People sweat a lot when staying in hot environment or exercising. The presence of moisture within fabric-skin interface will cause sensorial discomfort. When applying pressure and friction on wet skin surface, it may lead to skin irritations, abrasions or even skin contact injuries. Numerous instruments have been developed to study friction property of textiles. Testing instruments differ primarily in the type of relative motion (linear or rotational), the way to measure drag force and the material of the sliding partners (plastic or metal). Majority of the conventional testing methods have limited implications about clothing comfort. The surface and frictional properties of metal or plastic may differ from human skin remarkably. Second, inadequate information (frictional property under dry condition only) was obtained by the conventional methods whereas the stickiness/frictional properties of textiles under different wetness level have not been studied systematically. Against these research background, a new testing apparatus, namely Textile Friction Tester (TFT) was developed for characterizing the frictional property of textiles under wet skin surface. This study describes the design and construction of TFT (as shown in the attached PDF Figure 1). First, predetermined amount of water was sprayed onto the simulated skin layer. Then, the sample was put on top of it and was dragged at a constant speed. A force gauge connecting to the sample was used to measure the force required to drag on a wet skin surface. Five types of fabrics with varying constructions and material were tested. The results, as shown in the attached PDF Figure 2 and 3, revealed that TFT was highly sensitive and reproducible in differentiating these fabrics and it suggests that frictional properties of fabrics are skin wetness dependent. The uniqueness and advantages of TFT include: (a) capable of measuring frictional properties under different moisture levels (b) versatile in terms of the type of fabrics tested (c) comprehensive description on stickiness properties of samples against skin (d) simple setup with high system accuracy (e) short testing and fabric preparation time (f) affordable cost (g) useful for product selection especially for sportswear, hygiene products or medical textiles application

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Biotech, Biomaterials and Biomedical: TechConnect Briefs 2018
Published: May 13, 2018
Pages: 137 - 140
Industry sector: Medical & Biotech
Topic: Personal & Home Care, Food & Agriculture
ISBN: 978-0-9988782-0-1