Skin model comfort analysis

Measurement of thermal resistance (Rct) and water vapour resistance (Ret)

The comfort required by the various users of working, protection and leisure clothing compels the manufacturers to know the exact physical properties of textiles related to physiological comfort.

Water vapour resistance and thermal resistance are essential elements to assess comfort. Therefore, it is important to measure both properties.


The standardised test method - described in ISO 11092 and EN 31092 k.a.k. as the skin model, imulates the heat and moisture transfer that is very similar to the human skin.

The thermal resistance, expressed in m².K/W, determines the dry heat flux across a given area in response to a steadily applied temperature gradient.

The water vapour resistance, expressed in m².Pa/W, determines the "latent" evaporative heat flux across a given area in response to a steadily applied water vapour pressure gradient.

The Centexbel laboratories are fully equipped to measure thermal resistance and water vapour resistance, under steady-state conditions according to ISO 11092.

This standard is also referred to in product standards for protective clothing, such as:

  • EN 342 protection against cold
  • EN 343 protection against rain
  • EN 469 protective clothing for fire-fighters
  • EN 471 high visibility clothing
  • EN 14058 protection against cool environments