In the automotive and car components industry, increasing competitive pressure, higher customer expectations and ever-changing fashions mean there is a constant need for new development work and projects. At the same time, developing innovative materials and products also always calls for new measuring techniques, specifically designed to suit the new requirements and specifications. One example of this is the development of active climate control car seats, which have an internal heating system and are also actively ventilated by fans. These innovative seats make driving noticeably more comfortable, even in hot or stressful situations. However, the measuring techniques used for conventional passively climate-controlled car seats are not in themselves adequate for analysing and further developing their physiological characteristics.
During controlled seat trials with volunteers, the temperatures, relative humidity and heat flows were measured in various climatic conditions and at different points around the driver, seat and vehicle interior.
It is in this context that scientists from the Hohenstein Institute for Textile Innovations have been working with the Friedrich Willhelm Bessel Institute, in a research project sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) via the Federation of Industrial Research Associations AIF, on a new measuring technique to analyse in detail the effect of heating or ventilating the car seat on the physiology and level of comfort experienced by the driver.