Human thermal responses in extreme conditions

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TypeTechnical Report
Series titleTechnical Report
Physical description33 p.
SubjectImmersion suit; deep body temperature; heat flow
AbstractThe thermal responses of 12 volunteers were measured over 3 hour immersions in 5°C water and air in a calm condition, (Calm) and in a condition that included wind and increased water velocity (Weather). Immersions in the Weather condition resulted in a significantly greater increase in mean skin heat flow (MSHF) compared to Calm. Immersions in the Weather condition resulted in a significantly greater rate of change of mean skin temperature compared to Calm. There were no significant differences in the rate of change of deep body temperature, mean body temperature, and oxygen consumption between the two conditions. The use of a flume system in this experiment allowed for the successful replication of the increase in heat flow due to waves in a facility that was not capable of wave generation. Wind and waves, and the addition of water underneath the immersion suit, will cause a significant increase in MSHF compared to calm conditions while dry inside the suit. This increase in MSHF may be compensated for by people, but at great effort on their part. When testing people in immersion suit, it is important to consider the effort expended to maintain a stable deep body temperature, and the conditions tested in. More severe conditions than those tested, may push people past their thermoregulatory capabilities, resulting in falls in deep body temperature.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Ocean Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19456788
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Record identifier998beb8f-f01a-484f-aefb-716c32a84d54
Record created2012-02-21
Record modified2016-10-03
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