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Made from specially engineered infrared-sensitive yarn, which responds to changes in the temperature and humidity of a person’s skin by dynamically collapsing or expanding the structure of its fibers, the newly-developed textile shows great potential in the development of clothing systems capable of autonomously adapting to demanding environments.
This is the first textile to automatically change properties to trap or release heat depending on conditions. Image credit: Faye Levine, University of Maryland.
Body - Absorbs - Sheds - Heat - Form
The human body absorbs and sheds much of its heat in the form of infrared radiation. Most textiles trap this energy, which keeps us warm in cold weather.
However, the development of a material that is able to shed this energy, and thus passively cool the body, has remained a challenge.
Materials - Cooling - Forms - Textiles - Sunlight
While other materials have achieved radiative cooling in various forms, through textiles that can reflect sunlight and also allow heat radiating from a person’s body to escape, none are responsive to environmental changes or possess the ability to regulate both heating and cooling.
“The human body is a perfect radiator. It gives off heat quickly,” said co-lead author Professor Min Ouyang, a researcher at the University of Maryland.
History - Way - Radiator - Clothes - Clothes
“For all of history, the only way to regulate the radiator has been to take clothes off or put clothes on. But this fabric is a true bidirectional regulator.”
The base yarn for the new infrared-adaptive textile is created with fibers made of two different synthetic materials — one absorbs water and the other repels it. The strands are coated with carbon nanotubes, a special class of lightweight, carbon-based, conductive metal.
Materials - Fibers
Because materials in the fibers both...
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