Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

The Effect of Wear and Laundering on the Moisture Management Performance of Nomex Base Layer Garments Public Deposited

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  • Apparel has been described as a portable environment (Jintu & Tsang, 2008). This portable environment has the ability to facilitate human presence in a variety of situations, conditions, and circumstances that would otherwise be uncomfortable, harmful, or even fatal. Personal protective garments (PPGs) that provide thermal insulation from external heat sources likewise inhibit the body's natural heat regulation processes by restricting heat dissipation through evaporative cooling. The level and consistency over time of interference caused by a functional thermally resistant fabric such as Nomex was not readily available. Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine the effect of aging on the moisture management (MMT) capabilities of knitted Nomex protective undergarment fabric. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the morphological and structural changes of knitted Nomex resulting from actual use and laundering, and to analyze their effect on Nomex's MMT performance. The objectives of this study were to subject knitted Nomex undergarments to wear testing and laundering at 15 and 30 cycles, identify the structural changes of the Nomex that resulted from wear testing and laundering using an electronic scanning microscope (SEM), and to determine the affect of aging on the Nomex fabric's MMT performance after each level of aging had been achieved through wear testing and laundering. Commercially available Alpinestar® 100% ZX Nomex shirts (five in total) were tested in this study. Garments 1 and 2 acted as control garments receiving laundering treatment only. Garments 3, 4, & 5 were subjected to both wear and laundering treatments. A single wear treatment cycle consisted of 90 minutes of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training. A single laundering cycle included machine washing and drying per manufacturer instructions. Fabric samples (5x5 inch) were removed from each of the five garments prior to, at 15, and at 30 treatments and subsequently tested on an ATLAS MMT tester. SEM images were also taken at each treatment level. T-tests were used to statistically analyze data. The results of this study indicated that the effect of aging through wear and laundering up to 30 cycles caused overall MMT performance of the Nomex fabric to improve from fair prior to treatments to very good at 30 cycles. The greatest effects of treatment came between 0 and 15 laundering cycles where MMT performance peaked; additional laundering between 15 and 30 cycles caused a decline in performance. The effect of wear treatment and laundering individually improved Nomex MMT performance overall, however the combined effect elevated MMT performance between 15 and 30 cycles where laundering alone caused a decrease. SEM images revealed that fabric changes on the structural level occurred through yarns fibers loosening and the incorporation of foreign matter, however the Nomex fibers showed no sign of surface degradation as a result of treatments. The Nomex fabric pilled only with the combined effect of wear and laundering.
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