Parallel and serial methods of calculating thermal insulation in European manikin standards

Kalev Kuklane, Chuansi Gao, Faming Wang, Ingvar Holmér

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Standard No. EN 15831:2004 provides 2 methods of calculating insulation: parallel and serial. The parallel method is similar to the global one defined in Standard No. ISO 9920:2007. Standards No. EN 342:2004, EN 14058:2004 and EN 13537:2002 refer to the methods defined in Standard No. EN ISO 15831:2004 for testing cold protective clothing or equipment. However, it is necessary to consider several issues, e.g., referring to measuring human subjects, when using the serial method. With one zone, there is no serial-parallel issue as the results are the same, while more zones increase the difference in insulation value between the methods. If insulation is evenly distributed, differences between the serial and parallel method are relatively small and proportional. However, with more insulation layers overlapping in heavy cold protective ensembles, the serial method produces higher insulation values than the parallel one and human studies. Therefore, the parallel method is recommended for standard testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Clothing insulation
  • European standard
  • Human subject studies
  • Parallel calculation method
  • Serial calculation method
  • Thermal manikin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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