However, these particletight covers are also an important hygiene precaution anywhere where bed occupancy changes regularly. Greater use of special pillow encasings would make sense in
hospitals and care homes and also in hotels. The covers are bacteria-proof and, like the pillowcases on top of them, are changed and hygienically washed every time someone new occupies the bed. This ensures that no bacteria can be passed via the pillow from one guest or resident to another.
In the newly developed pillow encasings, bacteria-proof warp-knitted fabrics are combined with special membrane materials.
Alexander Raths ©Shutterstock.com
Tests in the acoustics laboratory allowed the ideal combination of materials for suppressing irritating noises to be found.
Until now, though, there were some real disadvantages to the encasings that were available on the market, on account of the coated membrane inside them: people found them less comfortable to sleep on because of the disturbing rustling noises and the delayed release of air when they moved about. Now, as part of a research project (AIF No. 16947N), scientists at the Hohenstein Institute have developed a new kind of pillow encasing. Firstly, thanks to the use of bacteria-proof warp-knitted fabrics with a special membrane, the noise has been noticeably suppressed. Secondly, they are more breathable than earlier products, i.e. they absorb the sleeper's sweat more effectively and wick it away from his or her head and body.
First of all, the team led by Dr. Jan Beringer analysed all the things for which existing pillow encasings were criticised and then they designed an entirely new and optimised product. The textile researcher is sure that the new pillow encasings will be widely welcomed. "Until now, despite their clear advantages in terms of hygiene, pillow encasings have not been very widely used in this kind of institution.
Weighing up the costs and the benefits often resulted in conventional pillow encasings not being used," says Dr. Beringer. "It's not surprising, because there were lots of complaints about the loud rustling noise, the "airbag effect" caused by delayed release of air and generally disturbed sleep due, for example, to excessive sweating."
In their research, the scientists paid particular attention to reducing the loud rustling noises which occur right in your ear as you move your head, and so greatly impair your rest or recovery. Considerable noise reduction was achieved by ensuring that the fabrics used were ideally suited to their purpose. The underlying design principle is that a fabric should be chosen that is as fine as possible. In this project, warp-knitted fabrics were used.
The application of a membrane to the underside of the fabric provided the textile technology solution for the hygiene security that was also required. Combining the optimised fabric with the specially chosen membranes as a protective barrier against bacteria ensured that there would be no more disturbing rustling noises when people moved about in bed. In a further step, the researchers optimised the way the warp-knitted fabric and the membrane system were combined, with regard to their effects on thermophysiological comfort (thermal insulation, permeability to water vapour) and skin sensory comfort (softness, suppleness). Finally, they tested how well the textile construction withstood commercial processing conditions. If the newly developed pillow encasings are to be suitable for leasing, it is important that there is no reduction in their performance due to commercial processing.
The encasings will mainly be effective in improving hygiene conditions where there are frequent changes of occupancy in care homes, especially during short-term or preventive stays. Thanks to encasings, hotel guests can also climb into their hotel beds without worrying about hygiene. For Dr. Beringer and his team, it was a worthwhile exercise: "This pillow encasing, optimised in every respect, is our contribution to improved comfort and hygiene in hospitals, care homes and hotels. It also allows managers to do a great deal to help their patients or guests get a good night's sleep which will, in turn, help them to relax or recover."
Rose-Marie Riedl | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Healthy Hiking in Smart Socks
22.02.2017 | Technische Universität Chemnitz
A shampoo bottle that empties completely -- every last drop
27.06.2016 | Ohio State University
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine