Instrumented Manikins

for a close to reality assessment of physiological and protective properties

Material related properties of clothing systems will either be assessed applying specific lab scale tests or manikin tests. At Empa a number of mainly in-house developed assessment method are available that mimic a part of the body or even the whole body. With increasing complexity of the apparatus also interpretation of the results will get more demanding, since not only material properties will play a role but also fit to the manikin, cut and additional features such as pockets or reflective stripes.

Apparatus to assess physiological measures are run in climatic chambers in order to simulate realistic ambient conditions. Normally standard conditions are used for the assessment to enhance comparability to former investigations of similar materials. Depending on the intended end-use the investigated clothing system can be assessed under realistic conditions from -40°C to +40°C. Most manikins can be coupled with a physiological computer model of the human being to get a prediction of the physiological response under a specific work load and defined ambient conditions. This can include information about core body temperature, skin temperature, sweat rate, heart rate and estimated comfort rating.

Manikins for physiological assessments
  • Torso
    Simulation of the human trunk to assess fabric combinations for different end uses (ISO 18640).
    Possibility to simulate also complex activities and workloads in multiple measurement phases.
  • SAM
    Sweating articulated thermal manikin for the assessment of readymade garments and clothing systems.
  • Mizy
    Mini cylinder for physiological assessments
  • Alex II
    Sweating head manikin for the assessment of helmets and head gear in general.
  • Foot model
    Sweating thermal foot model for the assessment of shoes, boots or socks.
Manikins for protective systems
  • Henry
    Instrumented manikin for the assessment of transferred energy and burn risk prediction in a simulated flash-fire (flame engulfment according to ISO 13506 or ASSTM F1930).
  • Hexagon
    Setup to assess transferred energy and burn risk on fabric samples applying the same flame engulfment condition as for the manikin test above.
  • Nick, Beda
    Manikins to assess pressure on the body and load on the spine and hip when wearing back backs, harnesses or other load bearing systems


Besides the manikin systems also a variety of bench scale tests are available.
Some manikins: SAM, James, Henry
Contact: Martin Camenzind