The cold and harsh climate in the High North represents a threat to work performance and safety. Progress in smart clothing materials and instrumentation offer a great potential for clothing that can significantly improve working conditions, and can offer the Norwegian textile industry a unique position to develop profitable products for applications in cold and wet environment.
ColdWear will address the fundamental mechanisms of how the interaction between environmental exposure, clothing, work load, and physiological regulatory system affect the working conditions. ColdWear will gain knowledge on how to integrate sensors in clothing that improve user safety without reducing comfort and work performance. ColdWear will develop fundamental understanding of how comfort and performance can be improved in this situation. At the core of ColdWear is to develop sensors and materials that provide a significant increase in performance. To reach this objective completely a multidisciplinary approach must be taken including co-operation between work physiology, material science and sensor technology.
The principal objective of ColdWear is to create the knowledge and scientific background for developing new clothing solutions that enable a significant increase in performance and safety of operations in the High North.
Instrumentation and sensors in textiles and clothing
Textiles and clothing offer an opportunity for integrating truly unobtrusive sensing functionality. We investigate new technologies to integrate sensors into clothing.
Parameters such as temperature, humidity, wind and heat transport are particularly relevant to monitor, and can be used to provide improved comfort, safety and performance for the users.
SINTEF established a strategic research program on SmartWear in 2006. Since then, a multidisciplinary team involving product designers, physiologists, material scientist and instrumentation experts has collaborated on research on multifunctional materials and instrumented clothing, forinstance within the ColdWear project (2008-2012).