Textiles maintain wearer comfort by allowing evaporated sweat to permeate through, providing thermal management and keeping skin dry. Each textile layer presents a resistance to mass transport consistent with its physical structure (i.e., thickness, porosity, and tortuosity). However, when textiles are layered, water vapor transport becomes more complex because diffusing molecules must traverse interstitial spaces between layers. Interstitial mass transport resistances of significant magnitude can reduce rates of water vapor transport through layered textile stacks. The prevailing textile mass transport resistance interrogation method is ASTM F1868: “Standard Test Method for Thermal and Evaporative Resistance of Clothing Materials Using a Sweating Hot Plate.” A self-calibrating element of this method is to measure one, two, three, and four fabric layers. Each newly added layer is prescribed to increase the stack mass transport resistance by the integer resistance presented by a single layer with no interstitial resistance consideration. Four improvements to ASTM F1868 are recommended: 1) gravimetric mass transport measurement, 2) a Stefan flow model, 3) correct accounting for apparatus mass transport resistances, and 4) recognizing and measuring interstitial mass transport resistances. These improvements were implemented and evaluated by running tests using Southern Mills Defender™ 750 fabric, the calibration standard used for ASTM F1868, on a new gravimetric experimental apparatus. The mass transport resistance of one fabric layer measured via the gravimetric method is related to the ASTM F1868 value through working fluid properties. Using the gravimetric approach, mass transport resistance for a single layer of calibration fabric was measured at 60.3 ± 14.4 s/m, which is consistent with the prescribed result from ASTM F1868 (after the conversion factor), 73.1 ± 7.3 s/m. The diffusion coefficient for water vapor in air in the fabric pores measured by gravimetric experiment, (2.02 ± 0.59) × 10−5 m2/s, agrees (within experimental uncertainty) with the theoretical value for the experimental conditions, 2.54 × 10−5 m2/s. However, for stacks of two or more calibration fabric layers, the gravimetric approach does not agree with the prescribed ASTM F1868 result due to interstitial mass transport resistance between fabric layers. The measured interstitial resistance value is 23.6 s/m, 39.1% of a single fabric layer, a value too significant to be ignored in engineering analysis.

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