How comfortable are you in the seat of your car? Did you take that into consideration when you decided to purchase it? The last time you bought yoga pants was it primarily for style or comfort? And how often do you check the expiration date on the bottle of Tylenol in your cupboard? Or worry about bacteria in your kid’s chicken nugget frozen dinner?
Chances are you don’t waste your brain space thinking much about these things. You probably have never asked yourself how the driver’s seat got so easy to sit in or what makes your clothes so comfortable or why you don’t worry about your food and medicine. But it has not always been this way. The first cars had wooden seats and no shock absorbers, but they were better than horses…most of the time. Corsets used to be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. “Medicine” was unregulated and you didn’t even want to know what happened in a meat packing plant.
Climate Chambers Enter The Picture
We live in a modern society with few of the worries that plagued earlier generations. Our life expectancy has doubled during the last century. We expect everything we purchase to meet our needs exactly, last a long time, and be a bargain. The truth is that it takes hours of experimentation in well-equipped labs to bring this affordable protection into our lives.
Temperature control is necessary for almost every scientific experimental process, and as such, temperature controlled devices are found all laboratories. Because scientists test multiple independent variables and their effect on a single dependent variable, it is critically important that they be able to measure and regulate temperature exactly. “During an experiment, scientists must prevent outside influences, known as confounding variables, from altering the results. When a scientist actively decides to limit the impact of a confounding variable, it becomes known as a control variable instead. Although it is not always a confounding variable in experiments, scientists will often choose to control the variable of temperature by holding it constant.” Control variables help prevent errors with the experiment.
Comfort Testing In The Laboratory
Climate chambers allow researchers to test the variables of temperature and humidity. It’s important that the equipment have a homogenous and stable temperature and humidity distribution over the entire chamber. Imagine if the manikin “sweated” on one part of its body but not on the other. The research team wouldn’t be able to learn much about how to perfect climate control in the next car you buy. Not all climate chambers are the same. The humidity content of the chamber load, the ambient conditions, and the respective temperature-humidity working range are decisive factors in the selection of the right appliance. The scientist must be able to reproduce and document reliable environmental simulations. In Memmert climate chambers, the high-precision temperature and humidity control — and the heating from all six sides — ensures reliability and an interior free of condensation.
Speaking of humidity and condensation, evaluating functional clothing in a climate chamber is as commonly done as evaluation automotive seats with manikins. Functional clothing is more commonly known as sportswear: t-shirts, jackets, and yes — yoga pants. The jargon is going to get worse for a moment before it gets better. When you exercise you want clothing that allows heat exchange between your body and the outside environment. One of the materials used to manufacture this type of clothing is called “phase change material” or “latent heat storage material” What you experience when you wear “functional clothing” for your morning run in winter is better insulation and greater comfort. “As the wear comfort is directly related to physiological processes, it is possible to measure it quantitatively. An important way to measure the thermo-physiological comfort is to perform wearer trials with human subjects. These could be performed either under controlled climatic and activity scenarios in a climatic chamber or under practical conditions in real wearing.” With the climate chamber, researchers are able to keep the ambient temperature and humidity constant, and then measure the wearer’s skin temperature and self-reported comfort level.
Botany, Biology, and Your Health
Climate chambers have a long history in the development of the modern society. In the 1950s, Dr. Joseph Lee Hollander conducted research using a climate chamber which he developed to study the effect of climate on various diseases such as arthritis. In the 1960s, P. O. Fanger used a climate chamber to create a predictive model for general thermal comfort in the workplace. Today, food scientists study the effects of temperature and humidity on most of the products you find in your grocery store. Pharmaceutical companies need to know how their medicines will respond to different environmental conditions. Botanists and biologists need to test seed germination and breeding. It is very likely that you can look around the area where you are reading this and find more than one thing that has been perfected using a climate chamber.
Memmert manufactures several different climate chambers: each with specific parameters for specific testing tasks at hand. Temperature, relative humidity, fresh air exchanges, and light. While they aren’t large enough to put a human inside, they are the perfect size for experiments in food science, animal science, plant science, and medical research. Each climate chamber has environmentally-friendly peltier cooling technology, AtmoCONTROL programming, and a beautiful and functional stainless steel exterior. Whether your climate testing needs are as esoteric as breeding minks or as ubiquitous as testing a frozen dinner, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today to discuss your unique requirements.