Performance of Sympatex Membrane
When outdoors we are exposed to the prevailing weather conditions. Functional textiles which feature the 100% waterproof Sympatex membrane provide excellent performance and make for more outdoor enjoyment.
The waterproofness of the membrane is measured on the basis of the water column under the pressure of which the material starts to allow water through it. According to EN 343 a membrane is waterproof if it can resist a pressure of 1,300 mm. Pursuant to ISO 811 the Sympatex membrane far exceeds these values and is extremely waterproof with a water column of over 45,000 mm.
High pressure load
Kneeling on damp ground
Kneeling woman / 60 kg / 1.70 m
per knee 5 cm Ø = 1.3 bar pressure
= 13,000 mm water column
High pressure load
Sitting on chair lift
Sitting man / 85 kg / 1.90 m
Seat 10 x 10 cm = 0.5 bar pressure
= 5,000 mm water column
High pressure load
Hiking with a backpack
Backpack 25 kg with waist strap
Contact area on shoulder 4 x 9 cm = 0.1 bar pressure
= 1,000 mm water column
- All Sympatex apparel upper laminates (Allround, Performance, Performance Plus) reach a waterproofness of > 20,000 mm water column, regardless of the classification of the individual laminates
- This level covers general demands in everyday life and particularly outdoors (e.g. kneeling and sitting on damp ground, carrying a backpack, rain whilst riding a motorbike)
- The technical measurements are therefore restricted to 20,000 mm even though the Sympatex laminates can resist a much higher water pressure
Breathable clothing which removes perspiration in the form of water vapour from the skin supports a pleasant body climate and prevents overheating.
In contrast to other membrane technologies, the poreless compact Sympatex membrane is based on a physical and chemical principle. The water-attracting (hydrophilic) part of the membrane absorbs the moisture from the body and emits it to the outside by evaporation. The water vapour molecules are transported outwards along the hydrophilic molecule chains. The molecular structure (hydrophilic components) of the Sympatex membrane swells in moisture and therefore provides space for water vapour transport and fast evaporation. This effect increases as the difference in temperature and moisture rises. The requirement for this function is a partial pressure gradient of the temperature and humidity from inside to outside.
Function during increasing physical activity / sweating
The more your body sweats, the more moisture the membrane can transport outwards. The effectiveness of “Smart Dynamic Membrane Technology” therefore increases dynamically and on the basis of need. The RET value (Resistance Evaporation Transmission) is used as a value to measure breathability. This is the resistance that a material has to water vapour. A RET value of less than 6 is described as very good breathability. The Sympatex membrane achieves absolutely top values with RET values of up to 0.5.
Comparison of water vapour transport
- The microporous membrane works on
a physical principle
- The membrane consists of:
e.g. PTFE or PU
Very small pores: Water vapour and warmth
can escape, but water droplets cannot get
through the membrane
- The poreless compact membrane works on a
physical and chemical principle
The Sympatex membrane is 100% windproof pursuant to DIN EN ISO 9237. This function property is important to avoid the wind chill effect.
Wind chill effect
The wind removes the warming layer of air from around the body. The perceived temperature is lower than the actual temperature. No wind chill effect with Sympatex membrane: 0 litres of air per second pass through 1 m² of Sympatex membrane. This means that according to DIN EN ISO 9237 the Sympatex membrane is 100% windproof and prevents any drop in performance.