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The tog is a measure of thermal resistance of a unit area, also known as thermal insulance. It is commonly used in the textile industry and often seen quoted on, for example, duvets and carpet underlay.
The Shirley Institute in Manchester, England developed the tog as an easy-to-follow alternative to the SI unit of m2K/W. The name comes from the informal word "togs" for clothing which itself was probably derived from the word toga, a Roman garment.
A tog is 0.1 m2K/W. In other words, the thermal resistance in togs is equal to ten times the temperature difference (in °C) between the two surfaces of a material, when the flow of heat is equal to one watt per square metre.
British duvets are sold in steps of 1.5 tog from 4.5 tog (summer) to 16.5 tog (extra-warm). The stated values are minimal, actual values may be up to 3 tog higher. Notice that these tog values assume that there is no duvet cover added that can trap air, and that the sleeper is unclothed. Sleepwear and such other layers can make a significant difference for the lower tog values.
A few manufacturers have marketed combined duvet sets consisting of two duvets; one of approximately 4.5 tog and one of approximately 9.0 tog. These can be used individually as summer (4.5 tog) and spring/autumn (9.0 tog). When joined together using press studs around the edges, or Velcro strips across each of the corners, they become a 13.5 tog winter duvet and as such can be made to suit all seasons.
The tog is also used to define the thermal properties of carpet underlay.
Launched in the 1940s by The Shirley Institute, the Shirley Togmeter is the standard apparatus for rating thermal resistance of textiles, commonly known as the Tog Test. This apparatus, described in BS 4745, measures a sample of textile, either between two metal plates (for underclothing) or between a metal plate and free air (for outer layers).
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