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Hohenstein names clothing test mannequin ‘Sherlock’

February 14, 2014 (Germany)

In a competition, customers and employees of the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim voted to decide on the name for a new sweating thermal articulated manikin. The latest piece of test equipment in the Clothing Physiology department will now be called "Sherlock".

The manikin, built to look like a 175 cm tall man and with fully jointed limbs, came from the manufacturer MWNT with the name "Newton". The manikins are normally renamed by the test institutes using them. Of the three names that were offered to choose from, in the end "Sherlock" found favour with a majority of the approximately 150 people who entered the naming competition, by a narrow margin over "Isaac" and "Carl".

"Sherlock" is the latest member of a large "test family" which helps the experts at the international textile test and service centre to investigate and optimise the wearing comfort of textile products of all kinds.

The most well-known member of the "family" is the thermal articulated manikin "Charlie", who was created at the Hohenstein Institute at the end of the 1960s. Today, it is already the 4th generation of "Charlies" who are used to measure the dry heat transfer (thermal insulation) of suits, sportswear, workwear and protective clothing, as well as bedding and sleeping bags.

However, they, like "Charlene", the child manikin which came into use in 2008, are not able to "sweat". This means that until now, in order to give a detailed report on heat and moisture management - what is called thermophysiological comfort - two different measuring systems had to be combined: firstly the articulated manikins "Charlie" and "Charlene" and secondly the Hohenstein skin model.

Now, with the sweating thermal articulated manikin "Sherlock", it is possible to measure both the thermal insulation and the breathability of clothing of all kinds using one measuring system.

The thermal articulated manikins all work in closely controlled conditions in a climate chamber. Here, different ambient temperatures and humidity levels can be simulated, along with other external influences such as wind, radiated heat and rain. This means that the Hohenstein experts can imitate all kinds of realistic wearing situations, from Arctic expeditions to desert treks.

Unlike "Charlie" and "Charlene", "Sherlock" will have to work until he "sweats", so that the moisture management of clothing can be assessed in real wearing conditions. Unlike his "brothers and sisters", "Sherlock" can also sit down; this means that in future it will be possible to use the manikin to test seating of all kinds, including office chairs, car seats and aircraft seats.

"Sherlock", who is currently still in a preliminary, trial phase, will enable the Hohenstein Institute to expand its expertise in research and services in the field of clothing physiology. With "Sherlock", "Charlie" and "Charlene", the Hohenstein experts will now have a total of three articulated manikins at their disposal when they need to investigate the thermophysiological comfort of clothing systems in real conditions.


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