Fabric that adapts with chang­ing weather

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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