Fabric that adapts with changing weather
Scientists have 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. 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 from University of Maryland in the US said, adding that they created it using specially engineered yarn coated with a conductive metal. This is first textile 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. Depending on the tuning, the fabric either blocks infrared radiation or allows it to pass through. The reaction is almost instant, so before people realise they’re getting hot, the garment could already be cooling them down. On the flip side, as a body cools down, the dynamic gating mechanism works in reverse to trap in heat.