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How to Choose a Good Thermal Resistance Tester?

Maintaining accuracy and reliability in measurements of thermal properties is essential for various industries such as textiles, among others. The guarded hot plate apparatus is very central to this, it acts as a critical tool that helps in evaluating the thermal conductivity and resistance of materials.

This article deals with crucial maintenance practices necessary to ensure the optimum performance of guarded hot plate systems. Every step from routine cleaning and calibration to environmental control and data management is important in preserving the accuracy and durability of these priceless instruments.

These maintenance rules make sure that researchers can always rely on their guarded hot plate apparatus for accurate readings of thermal properties.

Table of Contents

What fabrics have good heat resistance?

When choosing fabrics resistant to heat, it’s important to select materials that can endure high temperatures without breaking down or catching fire. Below are a few examples of fabrics known for their ability to resist heat:

1. Kevlar

Properties: Kevlar is an aramid fiber that is famous for its outstanding flame resistance, strength, and durability.

Applications: It’s commonly used in safety clothes such as firefighter uniforms, gloves, and industrial protective wear.

2. Nomex

Properties: Another type of aramid fiber, Nomex has excellent resistance to heat, chemicals, and radiation.

Applications: It is widely used in firefighting gear, military uniforms, and industrial safety garments.

3. Carbon Fiber

Properties: The fabrics made from carbon fibers are highly fire resistant with high tensile strength and stiffness.

Active sentence: Employers use applications in aerospace, military, and high-performance sporting goods.

4. PBI (Polybenzimidazole)

Properties: PBI fibers exhibit exceptional thermal stability and do not support combustion.

Applications: It is ideally suited for use in high-temperature environments such as firefighting suits and aerospace applications.

5. Glass Fiber

Properties: Glass fiber fabrics have superior heat resistance properties but can be somewhat brittle despite being non-flammable.

Applications: Used in industrial insulation, fireproofing materials, and aerospace components.

6. Silica Fabric

Properties: Silica fabrics can endure very high temperatures up to 1800°F (982°C).

Applications: Welding blankets, fire curtains, protective clothing.

7. Ceramic Fiber

Ceramic fiber fabrics have a reputation for their exceptional high-temperature resistance and thermal insulating qualities.

Applications: Furnace insulation, fire barriers, and industrial high temperatures

8. Basalt Fiber

Basalt rock makes this fabric, giving it good heat resistance and strength.

Applications: Fireproof clothing, heat shields, and industrial insulation.

9. Modacrylic

Modacrylic fibers have flame resistance, unlike any other fibers that self-extinguish when exposed to flame.

Applications: Protective clothing and home textiles are often made of modacrylic.

10. Wool

Wool is not as heat resistant as synthetic fibers but it is naturally flame retardant with excellent thermal insulation capacity.

Applications: Blankets, fire-resistant clothing, upholstery etc…

What fabrics offer good water-vapor resistance?

Fabrics offering good water-vapor resistance repel moisture and are therefore suitable for outdoor gear, rainwear,r, and protective wear. Here we’ll look at some of the best-known fabrics for their water-vapor resistivity:

1. Gore-Tex

Properties: Gore-Tex stands out as a brand of waterproof, windproof, breathable textile that uses a membrane with microscopic pores preventing droplets of liquid but permitting moisture vapor to pass through.

Applications: Typically used in outdoor garments.

2. Polyurethane (PU) Coated Fabrics

Properties: Polyurethane-coated fabrics are water-resistant and prohibit the passage of vapor/water essentially. You can apply this to various fabric materials to improve their hydrophobic properties.

Applications: These find their applications in raincoats, tents, as well as waterproof bags.

3. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Coated Fabrics

Properties: PVC-coated fabrics are highly waterproof and last long. The water-blocking and vapour-proofing action is very effective in the PVC layer.

Applications: Commonly used in rain gear, tarpaulins, and protective clothing.

4. Nylon and Polyester with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Coating

Properties: When treated with a DWR coating nylon or polyester repels water yet lets it go through vapor. With these coatings, water forms droplets on the nylon surface that simply roll off.

Applications: They are typically in outdoor jackets, backpacks, and tents.

5. eVent Fabric

Properties: Waterproof layer with breathability such as Gore-Tex bore some similarities with eVent fabric material. It is permeable to liquid moisture but prevents its penetration by any liquid water mass.

Applications: Used in high-performance outdoor clothes and gears

6. SympaTex

Properties: Made from hydrophilic polyether-ester block copolymer sympatex is a waterproof breathable fabric that provides 100% recyclable polymer resistant to water vapors.

Applications: Outdoor apparel like foot wares, gloves, etc., use this material prominently.

7. Fabrics characterized by hard shell.

Properties: Designers create hardshell fabrics to offer a long-lasting wall that is both water and windproof but also breathable. You can use them with membranes like Gore-Tex or eVent.

Applications: Ideal for outer layers in outdoor and mountaineering gear.

8. Oilcloth

Properties: Oilcloth is a cotton fabric that manufacturers make waterproof by applying oil. It has a glossy finish and will combat water and water vapor.

Applications: Used in tablecloths, bags, and rainwear.

What is the sweating-guarded hot plate test method?

The Sweating Guarded Hot Plate (SGHP) test method also referred to as the “skin model” or “thermal manikin” method is a laboratory technique used for determining the thermal resistance and water vapor resistance of textiles and clothing materials. This experiment provides reliable results of how different fabrics would behave in real-life situations since it simulates heat as well as moisture transfer processes happening on human skin surfaces thus serving as an indicator of the thermal comfort properties of the material under investigation.

SGHP test method targets assessing two major fabric properties:

Thermal Resistance (Rct): This shows how well a textile material can prevent heat flow through it, which means a higher insulation value when Rct gets bigger.

Water Vapor Resistance (Ret): This measures the resistance to moisture vapor transfer. Lower water vapor resistance indicates better breathability.

Test Equipment and Setup

The following main components make up the Sweating Guarded Hot Plate apparatus:

Hot Plate: It is a flat plate heated electrically, which represents a warm human skin surface.

Guard Ring: It’s a ring that prevents the loss of heat along the edges and helps supply uniform heat all over the hot plate.

Water Supply System: This supplies water onto the surface of the hot plate simulating sweating.

Temperature and Humidity Sensors: They measure conditions on and around the hotplate.

Airflow Control System: It maintains controlled environmental conditions around the test sample.

Test Procedure


In order to standardize a fabric for testing, we condition it in a standard atmosphere, which is usually set at 20°C and 65% relative humidity. The equipment under test is then pre-heated up to a specific temperature of choice.

Mounting the Sample:

On top of this hotplate, one puts the fabric sample. The water supply system commences delivery of a controlled amount of water to its surface, simulating sweat secretion from skin cells onto human body surface plates.


The hotplate is set at a constant temperature usually about 35°C, which corresponds to normal human skin temperature.

Researchers use sensors to measure the fabric’s heat conductivity, as well as the temperature and humidity of the surrounding air. The amount of heat required to maintain a constant temperature on the hot plate and the rate of water vapor passing through the fabric.

Data Analysis:

We compute the thermal resistance (Rct) from the heat flow rate and temperature difference across the fabric.

We calculate water vapor resistance (Ret) by using the humidity difference and moisture transfer rate.

What are the sweaty guarded hot plate method’s benefits?

The sweating Guarded Hot Plate (SGHP) method has several merits that make it better than other methods for determining textile and clothing materials’ water vapor resistance and thermal insulation. These are some of them;

1. Simulates Human Skin Accurately

It resembles human skin: This method imitates very closely human skin which enables it to expose much valuable data about it in terms of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, etc.

Perspire simulation: By simulating sweating, we can accurately assess how fabrics perform regarding moisture management, which is essential for comfort in different climates and activities.

2. A Comprehensive Evaluation

Thermal Resistance (Rct) enables us to assess how effectively a fabric can function as an insulator in heat loss situations.

Water Vapor Resistance (Ret): It indicates the moisture vapor transfer ability or breathability of the textile and thus determines its overall performance.

3. Standardization

International Standards organizations like ISO and ASTM F1868 have standardized the SGHP method in standards such as ISO 11092 and ASTM F1868, ensuring consistent use across various tests and labs without compromising reliability.

Reproducibility: Standardization makes for reproducible results which is important for comparative material testing and quality assurance.

4. Multifunctionality

A wide range of materials, from athletic fabrics to protective clothing made from heavy-duty textiles, can undergo testing using this SGHP test method to assess different types of materials.

Different Applications: This product has found use in the sportswear industry, outdoor enterprises, military clothing, and industrial protection outfits among others.

5. Data Objectivity

Quantitative Results: The procedure assists in determining exact data about thermal resistance and water vapor permeability involved in comparing various materials on an objective basis.

Detailed Analysis: Detailed information enables manufacturers and researchers to understand the implications of changing material composition or construction techniques

6. Product Design Enhancements

Improved Comfort: The SGHP technique allows for insight into the interaction of materials with heat and moisture, and enables designing clothes that give comfort to wearers in all environmental conditions.

Better Performance: The development of fabrics that combine insulation with breathability is easy through this method, especially for high-performance and protective gear.

Why use two specimens in a guarded hot plate setup?

In a guarded hot plate setup, using two samples has several benefits which improve the accuracy and reliability of thermal resistance measurement. Scientists use two specimens for the following main reasons:

1. Symmetry and Uniformity

Balanced Heat Flow: Positioning identical samples on both sides of a heated panel creates a symmetrical arrangement. This symmetry helps ensure uniform heat flow, minimizing errors associated with uneven distribution of heat and reducing edge effects.

Placing samples on either side creates more uniform conditions, resulting in consistent measurements that can be relied upon.

2. Minimization of Boundary Loss

Effectiveness of the guard ring: This is an area around the hotplate that helps to minimize heat loss sideways. It is more effective with two samples because it leads to a uniform temperature gradient that occurs on these two thermocouples, thus minimizing edge losses and making measurements more accurate.

3. Better Measurement Accuracy

Calculation Of Average Value: Using two specimens allows the determination of the average thermal resistance value to help normalize cases of irregularities and inconsistencies that might be there in a single specimen.

Error Reduction: The setup will detect and compensate for possible errors, such as contact resistance between the sample being measured and the hot plate, resulting in more precise and dependable results.

4. Simulation Of Multi-Layer Systems Under Realistic Conditions

Interaction Between Layers: Several practical applications involve multilayered textile systems. In this case, using two specimens can better simulate how these systems behave thermally, revealing inter-layer interaction as well as overall thermal resistance.

Materials Testing: It facilitates the examination and comparison of relative thermal resistances between different materials under controlled conditions that are reproducible.

5. Increased Sensitivity

A higher sensitivity limit: when two specimens are present, the heat flow meter can detect very small differences in thermal resistance. This is particularly useful when testing materials of closely similar thermal properties.

6. Standard Compliance

Consistent Methodology: Most standard measurement methods and protocols such as ISO 11092 or ASTM F1868 specify or require using two samples in a guarded hot plate setup. Adherence to these requirements guarantees uniformity and comparability between various tests and laboratories.

How does the heat flow meter differ from the sweating-guarded hot plate method?

The Heat Flow Meter (HFM) and Sweating Guarded Hot Plate (SGHP) are methods of measuring the thermal properties of materials; however, they differ in principles, areas of application, as well as specific measurements done by each one of them. Here is a detailed comparison:

Principles & Mechanisms

Heat Flow Meter (HFM)

Principle: The method of HFM establishes a way of measuring the heat flow through a material that comes in steady-state condition by using flux sensors for heat to establish its flow.

Mechanism: Place the sample between two plates, with one plate being hot and the other cold. This sensor measures the heat amount going through this sample from the hot section to the cold side.

Output: It primarily determines either the thermal conductivity of materials or their thermal resistance.

Sweating Guarded Hot Plate (SGHP)

Principle: To measure both heat and moisture transfer rates, the SGHP method emulates human skin’s moisture transport properties and its thermophysical behavior.

Mechanism: There is a sample on a heated plate that can simulate sweating by controlled release of small amounts of water. To ensure uniform heating and prevent edge losses, it has a guard ring set up as part of it.

Output: For a complete evaluation process on thermal comfort together with moisture management characteristics; this method measures thermal resistance (Rct) and water vapor resistance (Ret).

Heat Flow Meter (HFM)

General Applications: Often used as a means of determining the thermal insulating ability of materials, such as insulation, walls, roofs, and floors in the building construction industry.

Material Types: Suitable for homogeneous materials or composites where moisture transfer is not a significant concern.

Use Cases: Assessing thermal insulation performance of building materials, foams, plastics, and other solid materials.

Sweating Guarded Hot Plate (SGHP)

Specialized Applications: Primarily used in the textile and clothing industries to assess the thermal comfort and moisture management of fabrics.

Material Types: Ideal for textiles, clothing materials, and other flexible materials where both heat and moisture transfer are important.

Use Cases: In sportswear, outdoor gear, protective clothing, and any apparel that should ensure comfort in varying temperature and humidity conditions.

Specific Measurements

Heat Flow Meter (HFM)

Thermal Conductivity (k): The rate at which heat passes through a material.

The thermal resistance (R) calculates by multiplying the thermal conductivity by the thickness of the sample.

Sweating Guarded Hot Plate (SGHP)

Thermal Resistance (Rct): Like the HFM, it quantifies the amount of heat that is withstood by a material.

Unlike any other, Water Vapor Resistance (Ret) measures how well it allows water vapor to pass through, providing us with an indication of its breathability and ability to move moisture.

Advantages and Limitations

Heat Flow Meter (HFM)


• Simple and quick to use.

• Applicable for a wide range of solid materials.

• The document provides direct values of thermal conductivity.


• No allowance for moisture transport.

• More suitable for moisture interactive materials.

Sweating Guarded Hot Plate (SGHP)


• Better textile simulation in real conditions than others do.

• It provides full information regarding thermal and moisture characteristics hence helps determine comfort in textiles and clothing.

• The best option when it comes to testing comfort in textile products or clothes


• Harder to use compared to HFMs as well as time consuming at the same time.

• This would require more sophisticated equipment & setup.

How to choose a good thermal resistance tester?

Now this is the main part. Picking a reliable thermal resistance tester calls for several attributes that will help you meet specific requirements and carry out precise measurements. These are some factors to consider before deciding:

1. The kind of Thermal Resistance Tester

Contact-Based Testers: Measure thermal resistance by coming into direct contact with the material. They work well with solid materials and surfaces.

Non-Contact Testers: They utilize infrared technology to measure thermal resistance without making any direct contact. This aids in measuring materials that are too dangerous or in motion to touch.

2. Measurement Range and Accuracy

Range: Make sure the tester covers the range of thermal resistances you need to measure Different materials and applications may require different ranges.

Accuracy: Examine the accuracy characteristics of your tester Higher accuracy is important for meticulous applications like research and development..

3. Resolution

The resolution of a tester is an indication of how small a change in thermal resistance it can detect High resolution provides more refined measurements.

4. Temperature Range

You should ensure that the operating temperature range suits the intended use of the tester, as some testers are designed for high temperatures and others for low temperatures.

5. User Interface

Interface: An interface must be user-friendly and have understandable displays that can go a long way in easing the process of measurement.

Portability: Ask yourself if you will need a portable tester for field measurements or if a bench-top model is enough for laboratory use.

6. Data Logging and Connectivity

Data Logging: Some testers have got inbuilt memory or the capability to log data over time which is useful when monitoring changes in thermal resistance.

Connectivity: Look for testers with USB, Bluetooth, or any other connectivity options allowing easy transfer of data to computers or other devices.

7. Calibration and Certification

Make sure that the tester is easy to calibrate and thus maintain accuracy. Some testers come with a certificate of calibration traceable to national standards, which is important for quality assurance purposes.

8. Brand and Reliability

Select testers from reputable brands that have a reputation for producing high-quality products. Reading reviews and looking at testimonials from other users may help provide insights into the performance and durability of the tester.

9. Cost

Compare prices of different models based on these features and the specifications they offer. It is important to stay within budget but sometimes investing in a higher quality tester could save money because it can last longer due to its reliability among others.

10. Support and Warranty

Check out the support services and warranty policies of the manufacturer. Good customer support can solve a problem fast while a good warranty gives you peace of mind.

What are methods to keep up the guarded plate apparatus?

For accurate and reliable determination of thermal properties, it is important to maintain the guarded hot plate apparatus. Regularly clean the hot plate, guard ring, and sensors to prevent debris or contaminants from interfering with their activities. Manufacturers recommend calibrating sensors and instruments at set intervals to ensure ongoing accuracy, and these records help monitor the system’s performance over time.

This case calls for a routine visual checkup as well as functional tests aimed at detecting any possible signs of wear, damage, or malfunctions. Fluctuations during tests are detrimental to measurement accuracy necessitating uniform temperature distribution as well as stable control. To comply with ISO 11092 or ASTM F1868 (standard conditions), one must stick to specific rules governing a controlled testing environment without pollutants like dust, etc.

Upgrading the software and firmware used for acquiring and analyzing data enhances their functionality and reliability. Observing the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines while ensuring that apparatus operators are well acquainted with its operation and upkeep is very important. Regularly servicing by professionals, stocking essential spare parts, and attending to any issues immediately mitigates further damage as well as downtime.


In conclusion, the effective maintenance of guarded hot plate apparatus is vital for maintaining thermal property assessments’ integrity. To achieve the accuracy and precision needed in this technique, you should regularly clean, calibrate, and monitor the environment.

Thus, acceptance of these maintenance protocols will give a way out where scientific users can have confidence in their guarded hot plate systems. This guarantees continuous innovation as well as informed decision-making for various applications that require thermal property analysis.

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