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Title: Metropolitan comfort : biomimetic interpretation of hygroscopic botanical mechanisms into a smart textile for the management of physiological discomfort during urban travel
Author: Kapsali, Veronika
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 9923
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2009
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This project investigates the experience of physiological discomfort during travel through an urban environment such as London or New York in winter. The over and underground networks that lace a current metropolis, form vital passages that lead the traveller though a multitude of spaces each defined by unique temperature, humidity and activity level. It is impossible to predict possible eventualities and consequently accommodate in a selection of clothing to ensure physiological comfort. Modular clothing assemblies are currently employed for the management of physiological comfort to adjust the insulation and ventilation properties of a clothing system and rely on combinations of behavioural methods and textile properties. This method is compromised by factors such as limited availability of space and wearer’s ability to detect and respond to the onset of discomfort sensations. Current smart systems rely on temperature as a stimulus for actuation. Experimental work suggests that humidity is a more suitable trigger. Botanical mechanisms that employ hygroscopic expansion/contraction for seed and spore deployment were identified as paradigms for the development of a smart textile system. Biomimetic analysis of these natural mechanisms inspired the design of a textile prototype able to adapt its water vapour resistance in response to humidity changes in the microclimate of the clothing system. The resulting structure decreases its permeability to air by 20% gradually as relative humidity increases from 60% to 90%.
Supervisor: Vincent, Julian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: biomimetic ; adaptive ; comfort ; smart ; textile