New European Guidelines for Thermoregulatory Properties of Textiles (CEN/TR 16422:2012)

Over recent years a working group within CEN/TC 248 has developed a new technical report designed to help retailers, manufacturers and consumers with the evaluation of the thermoregulatory properties of textiles, and the selection of the most appropriate methods and guideline requirements which would be suitable to define individual material performance requirements for specific end use products.

The Technical report takes the form of advice and guidance grouping tests which would verify the defined thermoregulatory performance characteristics. Where a choice of test methods are available for measuring the same parameter, each is described to allow the user of the standard to select the most appropriate method for his requirements.

The report provides guidance by the use of three performance levels for the different thermoregulatory properties:

  • thermal insulation
  • water vapour transmission (breathability)
  • air permeability
  • water penetration resistance and repellence
  • and liquid sweat management

This allows a choice of the appropriate level for each property and the user can then compose a "product profile", adapted to specific type of use.

It is important to remember that these guidelines are for material properties only and that in order to be effective the design and construction of the garment should be appropriate to conditions of use, providing sufficient ventilation and / or closure points as required, and manufactured with suitable seam construction. Layers of clothing should also be compatible, and users should be reminded that the ambient temperature, ambient moisture, wind and level of activity influence the performance of the final ensemble as does the health and fitness of the user.

In the Annexes of the technical report there are examples of applications, and also 2 variations of a new test method to evaluate liquid sweat transport.

All the tests in this technical report are available in our Leicester offices, please contact tina.ball@intertek.com for prices and sample requirements.

It is recommended that users and specifiers purchase the standard to fully understand the detail behind the specific guidance. British standards are available from the BSI website.