Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

On the scent of sweat Hohenstein Institute optimises textiles with reference to smell

30.11.2009
Anyone in professional life who wears sweaty-smelling clothing is likely to sabotage their own opportunities for advancement. Certain types of textile absorb perspiration very readily. They then distribute the smell of sweat to places right under everyone's nose, something less than beneficial, particularly if the nose happens to belong to the boss.

That is reason enough to be concerned with optimising the scent of our garments. Whether the assessment is negative or positive, making scientifically-based sensory judgements about smells emitted by textiles requires both comprehensive instrumental analyses as well as professionally trained human sniffers (sniffers or panelists). Through further development of its odour analysis programme, the Hohenstein Institute has taken a major step closer to achieving its aim of optimising garment odour.

Manufacturers of clothing worn close to the skin (e.g. sporting attire or outdoor wear, underwear or socks), work wear, personal protective clothing and home textiles, as well as shoes and shoe insoles can now, with the help of odour analysis at Hohenstein, focus their efforts on improving the smell of their products and use data gathered to co-ordinate fibre types, construction characteristics and special finishings to reduce unpleasant odours. The head of the Institute for Hygiene and Biotechnology, Prof. Dr. Dirk Höfer, emphasises, "The condition of various materials can be assessed when they are new, as well as after they've been worn, laundered or artificially soiled." As a result, the processes established at the Hohenstein Institute are not just interesting for textiles designed to reduce odours (antibacterial) or those that emit specific scents (wellness textiles), but also for the laundry detergent and cosmetics' industries for example, because they can be used for precise analysis of the emission of scents. In addition to micro-capsule finishing, laundering as a rule causes fragrances to gather in textiles. Therefore, independent product comparisons and effects of different washing processes can now be assessed with respect to the smell of the textile.

In the past, the Hohenstein Institute has evaluated antibacterial textiles that significantly reduce perspiration odour. This was done with the aid of bacterial perspiration simulation and GC/MS technology in the laboratory. The results were then used to support companies marketing products with antimicrobial effects. For a few weeks now, the scientists at Hohenstein have been in a position to carry out targeted evaluations of textile odours and scents using what is known as an olfactometer - a device to deliver odours to the noses of a group of specially trained test sniffers - in addition to analysis of particular scent molecules using GC/MS. The panelists and devices make it possible to determine precisely the concentration of a smelly substance, its intensity, and make a positive/negative evaluation (hedonic effect) (Image 1). As in the past, when it comes to evaluating smells, the "sensory panel" remains a must. In addition, the scientists at Hohenstein also use a special scent sample release device that directs a standardised volume of the scented air towards the nose of the test sniffer. This is important, for example, during field trials, when garments being worn on the right/left are compared with respect to perspiration odour. In order to take perspiration samples from their point of origin, a special scent sample extractor is used. It is deployed when negative odours must be sampled on-site at a production facility or workplace (e.g. in restaurant kitchens) and carried back to the lab for analysis in order to prevent costly customer refunds.

The Institute for Hygiene and Biotechnology has taken an even closer look at the direct effects sporting garments have on perspiration odour and human skin physiology. First, athletes were equipped with sport shirts of varying moisture permeability ("breatheability"). The breatheability of the garments was determined using the measuring methods developed at Hohenstein, DIN EN 31092 and ISO 11092. Wearing the shirts, the test athletes went through a standardised, intensive work out. Immediately upon their finishing, thermoregulatory micro-circulation data was gathered from the surface of their skin using a thermal imaging camera (thermography).

Image 2 shows the effects of a sport shirt made of cotton (left) compared to a sport shirt with a higher level of breatheability (functional fibres) just after a work out. First, intensified thermoregulatory micro-circulation of the skin and heat distribution, as influenced by the fibre and construction properties of each textile, become apparent. These data were then correlated with skin samples from physiological micro-climates (Image 3). The moisture index of the micro-climate in the underarm before the work out had values of around 60. After athletic activity and perspiration, the moisture index of the cotton shirt climbed well above 100. The differences in the volume of perspiration produced in the underarms were also reflected in the intensity of perspiration odour. The test sniffers at the olfactometer then determined the cotton test swatches placed in athletes' underarms as smelled much more intense and (hedonic) negative in comparison to the textile samples for functional fibres.

For further information on textile odour analysis at the Hohenstein Institute, please contact: Gregor Hohn, e-mail: g.hohn@hohenstein.de

Rose-Marie Riedl | idw
Further information:
http://www.hohenstein.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>