Development of thermal models of footwear using finite element analysis

Derek Covill, Z. Guan, Martin Bailey, H. Raval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Thermal comfort is increasingly becoming a crucial factor to be considered in footwear design. The climate inside a shoe is controlled by thermal and moisture conditions and is crucial to attain comfort. Research undertaken has shown that thermal conditions play a dominant role in shoe climate. Development of thermal models that are capable of predicting in-shoe temperature distributions is an effective way forward to undertake extensive parametric studies to assist optimized design. In this paper, two-dimensional and three-dimensional thermal models of in-shoe climate were developed using finite element analysis through commercial code Abaqus. The thermal material properties of the upper shoe, sole, and air were considered. Dry heat flux from the foot was calculated on the basis of typical blood flow in the arteries on the foot. Using the thermal models developed, in-shoe temperatures were predicted to cover various locations for controlled ambient temperatures of 15, 25, and 35 °C respectively. The predicted temperatures were compared with multipoint measured temperatures through microsensor technology. Reasonably good correlation was obtained, with averaged errors of 6, 2, and 1.5 per cent, based on the averaged in-shoe temperature for the above three ambient temperatures. The models can be further used to help design shoes with optimized thermal comfort.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-281
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Volume225
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • finite element
  • footwear microclimate
  • shoe comfort
  • thermal model

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