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3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation

What is 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation?

3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation is used in your jackets‚ pants‚ gloves‚ hats and boots to help keep you warm when it’s cold outside. Thinsulate insulation will help keep you warm without the unnecessary weight or bulk‚ and brings more freedom of movement and comfort to your jackets‚ pants‚ and outdoor gear. So if you want to be warmer and more comfortable while you’re working, or playing when it’s cold outside 3M Thinsulate Insulation would be the solution.

What is Thinsulate?

The unique microfibers or fine fibers that make up Thinsulate insulation work by trapping air molecules between you and the outside. The more air a material traps in a given space‚ the better it insulates you from the cold outside air. Because the fibers in Thinsulate insulation are finer than the fibers used in most other synthetic or natural insulation‚ they trap more air in less space‚ which naturally makes Thinsulate insulation a better insulator. So we haven’t repealed the laws of nature with our thin insulation; we’ve simply improved them…to help keep you warm.

For more information, please read: "What is 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation?" >>

What is Thinsulate's Temperature Rating?

Reflective Apparel Factory works closely with 3M to develop and utilize their products. We are often asked how warm Thinsulate is or what is its temperature rating. So went directly to the Thinsulate experts at 3M. Here is their reply:

3M does not supply temperature ratings to the industry since Thinsulate insulation is only one component of many that are used by Apparel Manufacturers when they construct their insulated garments. Some of THEM supply temperature ratings, but most do not since there are too many variables outside of their (and our) control that impact whether or not a particular person is comfortable at a given temperature. Other factors that impact thermal comfort would include: Gender, General Metabolism (which would be impacted in turn by caloric intake, etc.), Specific Activity Level, Altitude, Humidity, Wind Speed, Duration of Exposure, Size of Person, Types of other Clothing being worn (and the warmth of THESE items), etc.

As you can see, this is a complicated question. ... Keep in mind however that every person is different and that some people will need more insulation than others for the same level of exposure conditions.

Using our Literature typical value of 3.3 clo for 3M™ Thinsulate™ Type G200, and assuming that this would be the same as what would be obtained with the Manikin Testing above (but realize that it wont be the same, just using this for perspective's sake), then following the calculations described in F2732 results in the following predicted Temperature Ratings (and rounding to the nearest whole number):

  1. 0 °F (-18 °C) for 2.0 MET (Light Work)
  2. -97 °F (-72 °C) for 4.0 MET (Moderate to "Above Moderate" Work).

A typical non-sationary worker would feel comfortable in sub-zero temperatures. If they were moving around alot and actively performing strenuous tasks, the range that Thinsulate staves off the cold drops significantly.

More Technical Infomation for Thinsulate

The indicated standard ASTM F 1291 Standard Test Method for Measuring the Thermal Insulation of Clothing Using a Heated Manikin governs the measurement of an ensemble's clo value using a stationary heated Thermal Manikin. So what is measured, is the overall clo value on the manikin, which will include the effect of ALL layers of clothing worn (base layer, shoes, gloves, etc) together with the impact of sizing, construction/design, etc. This is different than the values we obtain via ASTM F 1868 Standard Test Method for Thermal and Evaporative Resistance of Clothing Materials Using a Sweating Hot Plate which measures the clo value of a "flat stock item" of about 20" × 20" in size. I'd expect that the Manikin clo will produce a lower clo value than when just the constituent layer of insulation is measured per ASTM F 1868, but it will all depend on garment design (e.g., extra layers of air trapped between fabrics will increase clo, but overly quilting the insulation will diminish it, etc.).

"Temperature ratings" can be calculated from the Thermal Manikin clo results by following the practice described in a third standard, ASTM F 2732 Standard Practice for Determining the Temperature Ratings for Clod Weather Protective Clothing. This explains the determination of 2 possible Temperature Ratings 1) one assuming a metabolic rate of "2 MET", which is considered "Light Work", and 2) one assuming a metabolic rate of "4 MET", which is considered slightly above "Moderate Work". By comparison, a stationary person sitting behind a desk is defined to be at "1 MET" of activity.

pb 6.30.15

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