AATCC: Measuring condensation

Measuring condensation

(Source: AATCC)
(Source: AATCC)

Moisture management comes in many forms and there are numerous test methods to address the phenomenon in textiles. In February 2023, the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), Research Triangle Park, NC/USA, introduced a new test method to measure accumulated condensation on a fabric.
AATCC TM214 Test Method for Measuring Condensation on Textiles in a Humid Microclimate applies to clothing systems, tenting fabrics, and medical and technical temporary shelters. The condensation rate heavily depends on temperature and vapor pressure across a fabric system.
The new method is designed to measure the water condensation accumulation on the innermost (back) surface of waterproof fabrics in a humid microclimate. During the test, the outermost fabric (face) surface is subjected to dry and wet conditions (simulated precipitation). The condensation accumulation is determined by calculating the mass change of a filter paper attached to the inner chamber for a prescribed time.  
Although several existing test methods measure the effectiveness of moisture transport mechanisms through fabric, this is the first method to measure condensation created by the microclimate of the textile product. TM214 enables the performance of fabrics to be assessed in wet and dry conditions.
The test apparatus has an inner chamber (microenvironment) and an outer chamber (simulated precipitation). The test can be conducted inside an environmental chamber or under ambient conditions. This feature allows broad use across various textile systems. The insights gained by using this method will help organizations improve and develop new hydrophobic and water-repellent fabric systems.
AATCC TM214 Test Method for Measuring Condensation on Textiles in a Humid Microclimate can be purchased as a downloadable PDF and will be included in the 2024 AATCC Manual of International Test Methods and Procedures.

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