The human thermal response system can be manipulated by the proper combination of applied hot and cold stimuli. Previous research has shown that a sensation of constant cooling can be perceived through the application of certain patterns on the skin. Here we focus on (1) exploring the heat flux characteristics of the thermal display through computer simulations, (2) testing a hypothesis about the relationship between thermal sensation and heat flux, and (3) examining modifications of the thermal display patterns to intensify thermal sensations. To characterize the heat flux patterns of the thermal display, finite element simulations were performed using ANSYS. Simulations were done in two parts: the first examined a small subregion between heating and cooling stimuli, and the second was a larger scale examination of the heat flux profile of the thermal display. It was observed that the heat flux profiles for all thermal patterns were approximately identical. A linear relationship is derived between simulation and experimental results. This relationship was then used to determine the theoretical thermal sensations to determine which are best suited for future physical experimentation on humans.

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