Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering

Department

Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Valerie Maier-Speredelozzi

Abstract

Accommodating a target population in garment design is extremely important, especially when the garment is personal protective equipment (PPE) that keeps the user safe only if it fits correctly. Welders face many risks and hazards on a day to day basis, and proper fit of their PPE is essential to avoid sparks and spatter from entering and causing burns. It is also important that the PPE is comfortable so that welders are able to wear it during their daily tasks. The welding population is often overlooked in research that analyzes fit and comfort of suits despite the fact that they face dangerous conditions daily. There is also little to no overlap of clothing design and anthropometry (the scientific study of human body measurements and proportions), which leads to a lack of accommodation in the clothing industry. The goals of this research are to determine the fit and comfort issues of current welding garments, provide guidance to increase proper fit and comfort of welding garments, and to combine anthropometry with patternmaking in order to allow garment designers to use anthropometric dimensions in their work. This research benefits the military by showing anthropometric differences between the military and civilian populations, garment designers by providing conversions between anthropometric and patternmaking dimensions, and the welding population by showing fit and comfort issues in their current welding garments and offering guidance for improvement. It can also be a basis for the design of improved welding garments in the future. During this research, a critical dimensions list for welding suit design was created, and then the dimensions were analyzed to reduce the dimensionality of the problem. The accommodation levels of the current welding garments were also determined. A questionnaire was created and distributed to gain a unique understanding of the fit and comfort issues that welders face and progress was made to prepare for the next steps of the research.

Available for download on Sunday, December 18, 2022

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