Reversible fabrics of the future may keep you comfortable in any weather
P.-C. Hsu et al/Sciences Advances 2017
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 temperature of artificial skin by about 3 degrees.
P. Hsu et al. A dual-mode textile for human body radiative heating and cooling. Science Advances. November 10, 2017. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1700895.
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