Oklahoma State University
College of Human Environmental Sciences

About the Lab

The Design, Housing and Merchandising (DHM) Product Design and Testing Laboratory is a university resource which attracts a broad set of collaborators and users (both on and off campus).

Established in 2007, the laboratory is the culmination of award-winning protective apparel research of body armor and micro-climate cooling systems.

For equipment usage and technician fees, please see: Equipment Fees. Anyone interested in utilizing the lab’s equipment should contact the DHM department by calling 405-744-5035 to schedule an initial consultation meeting.

Equipment Available at the Lab

The lab has specialized equipment to facilitate product development and testing in four broad areas:

Thermal Manikin

(Walter™, manufactured from Hong Kong Polytechnic University):  A perspiring thermal manikin with walking ability.
  • Measures:  Garment dry heat resistance and evaporative resistance
  • Details:  The thermal manikin is housed in a dedicated environmental chamber with temperature range -25 to 50 oC.  Experiments can be performed according to both ASTM F1291-05 and F 2370-05 standards, as well as other standardized conditions.  Walter’s unique design and capabilities enables measurement of garment thermal properties in standing or walking conditions, as well as in extremely hot or subzero temperatures.

Sweating Guarded Hotplate

(manufactured by Measurement Technology Northwest)
  • Measures:   Dry heat resistance and evaporative resistance properties of fabrics and composites
  • Details:  The sweating guarded hotplate is housed in a dedicated environmental chamber with temperature range 0 to 99 oC.  Experiments can be performed according to both ISO 11092 and ASTM F 1868-02 standards.

Kawabata Evaluation System (KES)

A set of four instruments which measures several textiles properties.
  • Measures: Tensile and shearing ability (KES-1); textile bending ability (KES-2); textile thickness and compression ability (KES-3); and surface roughness and friction properties (KES-4).

Thickness Gauges

  • Measures/details: Two gauges which measure thickness of textiles and films according to the ASTM D 1777-96 (option 1, 2 and 5) standard.

FrazierTM FAP-F2

  • Measures: Air permeability of textile fabrics
  • Details:  The instrument can perform air permeability tests according to ASTM D 737-75 standard.


  • Measures: Light absorbance, reflectance and transmission through materials; also able to test for color accuracy and/or discoloration and UV reflectance.

3D Scanner

(Vitus Smart, manufactured from Human Solutions): Produces three-dimensional, digital surface scans of objects/subjects.
  • Measures/details: Linear, surface, volume, cross sections and angle data can be obtained using either Anthroscan or Polyworks software.
  • Application:  The 3D scanner is used in anthropometry and ergonomic-related studies.

Motion Capture System

(3D Smart, manufactured by BTS Bioengineering)
  • Measures: Analyzes movement of subjects/ objects with accuracy and precision
  • Details: Portable system which can be operated indoors or outdoors
  • Application: Resulting data can be used in kinematic evaluation studies of human body movement (e.g., pattern and range of motion) and ergonomic studies (e.g., ergonomic design and product design)

Surface Electromyography Devices

(FreeEmg and PocketEmg, manufactured by BTS Bioengineering)
  • Measures: Electric activity of muscles group that are located close to the skin (i.e., near the surface of the body)
  • Details: FreeEmg uses wireless electromyography probes while PocketEmg communicates with its probes via wire; both systems are fully portable. Also able to synchronize with the motion capture system.
  • Application: Resulting data can be used for biomechanical evaluation of human body movement (e.g., muscle activity, muscle stress and muscle fatigue) and ergonomic studies (e.g., ergonomic evaluation, design of garments and objects).

Environmental Chamber

(manufactured by Conviron®)
  • Details: Able to control temperature (between -10 to 50 °C) and relative humidity.

Treadmill, Stair-master and Bicycle

  • Details: Housed inside the environmental chamber; can be combined with the motion capture and/or surface EMG equipment.
  • Application: Resulting data can be used to evaluate endurance and performance of human subjects.


  • Details: Wireless sensor system used to collect physiological measurements (e.g., heart rate, skin and core body temperatures) from human subjects.

Force and Pressure Sensors

(Elf™, BPMS™ and Walkway™, manufactured by Teckscan®)
  • Measures: Force/load distribution introduced to the human body by an object; able to measure pressure/ force on the contact area of two surfaces during standing or walking

Dexterity and Coordination Testing Equipment

(Purdue Pegboard, Minnesota Manual Dexterity, Roeder Manipulative Aptitude testing, and O’Connor Finger Dexterity)
  • Measures: Dexterity of participants and matched control group subjects during various structured tasks

Infrared Camera

  • Measures: Temperature and heat distribution of targeted objects
  • Details: Hand-held, portable camera