Research Papers

Whole-Body Human Thermal Modeling, an Alternative to Immersion in Cold Water and Other Unpleasant Endeavors

[+] Author and Article Information
Eugene H. Wissler

 The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712ehwissler@mail.utexas.edu

J. Heat Transfer 134(3), 031019 (Jan 19, 2012) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005155 History: Received September 13, 2010; Revised March 04, 2011; Published January 19, 2012; Online January 19, 2012

Analysis of heat transfer in the human involves different scales ranging from countercurrent heat transfer between small arteries and veins to the whole-body, which is the principal subject of this paper. Important applications of whole-body human thermal models are predicting comfort under various conditions, such as riding in an air-conditioned automobile on a hot day, and predicting the probability of survival under life-threatening conditions, such as accidental immersion is cold water. This paper is arranged in three parts. In the first part, the evolution of human thermal models is discussed. Then, aspects of human physiology fundamental to thermoregulation are discussed, and finally we discuss a practical application derived from an Arctic survival project with which the author is involved.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

The cruise ship Explorer capsized and sinking in Antarctic waters in November, 2007

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Figure 2

Probably the first multi-element, whole-body human thermal models [11]

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Figure 3

ΔTc,th as a function of V·O2,r when T¯s≤ 33 °C. Filled and open circles identify plethysmographic and laser-Doppler data, respectively, of Smolander [48], open triangles identify data of Taylor , [49], and open squares identify data from Table 2 of Kenny [50]. Also shown is the graph of Eq. 4.

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Figure 4

Normalized CVC plotted as a function of T¯s. Data were obtained from the following sources: open circles, CVC from Stephens [56] Fig. 1 (saline); diamonds, CVC from Stephens , Fig. 3 (saline); pluses, CVC from Stephens , Fig. 5 (saline); and triangles, CVC from Charkoudian and Johnson [55], Fig. 2.

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Figure 5

Values of relative CVC normalized to the value of unity at Ts  = 34 °C (from Charkoudian , [57]). Also shown is the graph of CVCL(Ts ).

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Figure 6

Comparison of computed and measured forearm blood flows for a wide range of conditions

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Figure 7

Experimental data from five studies plotted as scaled variables. Solid symbols and the shaded triangle identify individual subjects in the study by Anderson and Saltin [61]. The shaded square and diamond identify data for leg only and leg plus arm exercise, respectively, in the study by Richardson [62]. The shaded diamond identifies data for knee extension in normoxia air in the study by Rowell [63], and the open square identifies data for exercise in hypoxic air. Open diamonds and circles identify data for knee extension exercise in the study by Koskolou [64]; diamonds denote control [Hb] = 144 g/l and circles denote low [Hb] = 115 g/l. Open triangles identify data for cycling in the study of Calbet [65].

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Figure 8

Typical enclosed life raft designed for use in cold water

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Figure 9

NEMO, a 23 segment human thermal manikin

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Figure 10

A human subject in a life raft

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Figure 11

Twenty-one element human thermal model

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Figure 12

Esophageal and mean skin temperatures for two different 24-h scenarios. Closed circles identify use of a sleeping bag in a tent during the last 16 h, and open circles identify continuous exposure without a tent or sleeping bag.

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Figure 13

Metabolic rates for two different 24-h scenarios. Closed circles identify use of a sleeping bag in a tent during the last 16 h, and open circles identify continuous exposure without a tent or sleeping bag.




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