Development of a heat-sealed fluid channel system for physiologically targeted temperature control
Current methods for temperature modulation of people who perform repetitive, fatiguing, or ergonomically unfavorable tasks, are costly and do not provide long-lasting comfort. These systems have extreme temperature fluctuations and during extended tasks, require periodic garment changes. Previous developments in our lab have shown the need for a better controlled, less invasive, and more targeted method of providing heat transfer for the reduction of muscle fatigue and physiological tremor and to improve task performance. A model of aluminum plating was fabricated to create heat-sealable Mylar® constructs, allowing for targeted fluid flow to the deltoid region, a high–density zone in the upper extremity. A proof of concept has been quantified in the ability of Mylar® to be sealed and for fluid flow to be incorporated. ASTM F88 peel testing was able to quantify the system’s strength-to-material thickness and strength-to-sealing time relationships. A burst testing apparatus was also designed and used to further quantify the strength of the fluid channel system via ASTM D642. A valve connection system to incorporate flow between high-density zones was also designed. Further work is necessary to quantify thermal transfer properties and promote full integration of the design into existing garments, but proof of concept in sealing Mylar® fluid channel system for physiologically-based temperature modulation has been achieved.