1997-05-19

Development of Skin Thermal Transducer for Automotive Applications 971855

This paper summarizes the design, development, fabrication, validation, and application of a new device called the Skin Thermal Transducer (STT). The development of this instrument was driven by the demand for reliable information on human skin temperatures during contact with a warm surface on the interior of an automobile. The primary technology that enabled the development of the STT was the thermo-electric cooler (TEC) in combination with a heat sink that is used to simulate the core temperature of the human body. The STT was validated with human skin data and the agreement was within an acceptable range.The STT provides the automotive engineer with a measuring device to optimize and validate the underbody regions of the vehicle with respect to occupant thermal comfort. The STT can also be applied to optimize other automotive and non-automotive products in which the human skin touches a warm surface.

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