Analysis of the thermal comfort and impact properties of the neoprene-spacer fabric structure for preventing the joint damages

Int J Prev Med. 2013 Jul;4(7):761-6.


Background: Frequent moves at the joint, plus external factors such as trauma, aging, and etc., are all reasons for joint damages. In order to protect and care of joints, the orthopedic textiles are used. To protect the joints, these textiles keep muscles warm to prevent shock. To produce orthopedic textiles, Neoprene foams have been traditionally used. These foams are flexible and resist impact, but are not comfortable enough and might cause problems for the consumer. This study introduces a new structure consisting of perforated Neoprene foam attached to the spacer fabric and also compares the properties of thermal and moisture comfort and impact properties of this structure in comparison with Neoprene foam.

Methods: In order to measure the factors related to the samples lateral pressure behavior, a tensile tester was used. A uniform pressure is applied to the samples and a force - displacement curve is obtained. The test continues until the maximum compression force is reached to 50 N. The area under the curve is much greater; more energy is absorbed during the impact. In order to investigate the dynamic heat and moisture transfer of fabrics, an experimental apparatus was developed. This device made the simulation of sweating of human body possible and consisted of a controlled environmental chamber, sweating guarded hot plate, and data acquisition system.

Results: The findings show that the Neoprene-spacer fabric structure represents higher toughness values compared to other samples (P ≤ 0.001). Neoprene-spacer fabric structure (A3) has higher rate of moisture transport than conventional Neoprene foam; because of undesirable comfort characteristics in Neoprene.

Conclusions: Results of the tests indicate full advantage of the new structure compared with the Neoprene foam for use in orthopedic textiles (P ≤ 0.001).

Keywords: Joint damages; Neoprene foam; orthopedic textiles; spacer fabric; thermal and moisture comfort.