Fabric that reg­u­lates heat

Deccan Chronicle - - World -

Washington, Feb. 10: Sci­en­tists cre­ated a fabric that can au­to­mat­i­cally reg­u­late the amount of heat that passes through it, help­ing a per­son stay cool or warm de­pend­ing on the weather con­di­tions.

When con­di­tions are warm and moist, such as those near a sweat­ing body, the fabric al­lows heat to pass through. When con­di­tions be­come cooler and drier, the fabric re­duces the heat that es­capes, re­searchers said.

This is first tex­tile shown to be able to reg­u­late heat ex­change with the en­vi­ron­ment, ac­cord­ing to the study pub­lished in the jour­nal Sci­ence. Un­der hot, hu­mid con­di­tions, the strands of yarn com­pact and ac­ti­vate the coat­ing, which changes the way the fabric in­ter­acts with in­frared ra­di­a­tion. They re­fer to the ac­tion as “gat­ing” of in­frared ra­di­a­tion, which acts as a tun­able blind to trans­mit or block heat.

The base yarn for this new tex­tile is cre­ated with fi­bres made of two dif­fer­ent syn­thetic ma­te­ri­als. The strands are coated with car­bon nan­otubes, a spe­cial class of light­weight, car­bon­based, con­duc­tive metal. Since ma­te­ri­als in the fi­bres both re­sist and ab­sorb wa­ter, the fi­bres warp when ex­posed to hu­mid­ity such as that sur­round­ing a sweat­ing body. That dis­tor­tion brings the strands of yarn closer to­gether, which opens the pores in the fabric. This has a small cool­ing ef­fect be­cause it al­lows heat to es­cape.

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