New textile weathers temperature shift | Science News

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New textile weathers temperature shift

Reversible fabrics of the future may keep you comfortable in any weather

By
11:27am, February 2, 2018
microscope images of smart textile

HOT N’ COLD  Carbon (left) and copper (right) in a new smart textile help release or trap heat to keep the body comfortable across a greater range of temperatures than standard fabrics.

Weather changes, but thanks to a new high-tech textile, someday you may not have to switch out your outfit.

Materials scientists and engineers at Stanford University have developed a multilayered textile that traps body heat on one side and passively radiates heat away from the body when flipped inside out. The material kept artificial skin within a comfortable range of 32° to 36° Celsius as the ambient temperature fluctuated by up to 9 degrees, the researchers reported November 10 in Science Advances.

Under a microscope, the textile looks like a gnarly sandwich. Layers of nanoporous polyethylene, or nanoPE, hug two layers: a rough, porous carbon and a smoother, tighter copper. When the carbon faces away from the body and a thin nanoPE layer is near the skin, the textile is in cooling mode. Body heat can easily escape through the carbon structure. In experiments, the textile lowered the

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