Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / MIT researchers one step away from 'Second Skin' spacesuit
MIT researchers one step away from 'Second Skin' spacesuit
24
Sep '14
Photo courtesy: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT
Photo courtesy: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are one step away from engineering a “Second-Skin” spacesuit.

MIT researchers are developing a space suit, where instead of climbing into a conventional, bulky, gas-pressurized suit, an astronaut may don a lightweight, stretchy garment, lined with tiny, muscle like coils.

The astronaut would then plug in to a spacecraft’s power supply, triggering the coils to contract and essentially shrink-wrap the garment around his/her body.

The skin tight, pressurized suit would not only support the astronaut, but would give him/her much more freedom to move during planetary exploration. To take the suit off, he/she would only have to apply modest force, returning the suit to its looser form.

Now MIT researchers are one step closer to engineering such an active, “Second-Skin” spacesuit.

Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, and her colleagues have engineered active compression garments that incorporate small, spring like coils that contract in response to heat.

The coils are made from a shape-memory alloy (SMA) — a type of material that “remembers” an engineered shape and, when bent or deformed, can spring back to this shape when heated.

The team incorporated the coils in a tourniquet-like cuff, and applied a current to generate heat. At a certain trigger temperature, the coils contract to their “remembered” form, such as a fully coiled spring, tightening the cuff in the process.

In subsequent tests, the group found that the pressure produced by the coils equalled that required to fully support an astronaut in space.

While skin tight spacesuits have been proposed in the past, there’s been one persistent design hurdle on how to squeeze in and out of a pressurized suit that’s engineered to be extremely tight.

That’s where shape-memory alloys may provide a solution. Such materials only contract when heated, and can easily be stretched back to a looser shape when cool.

To find an active material that would be most suitable for use in space, researchers considered 14 types of shape-changing materials — ranging from dielectric elastomers to shape-memory polymers — before settling on nickel-titanium shape-memory alloys.

When put together as tightly packed, small-diameter springs, this material contracts when heated to produce a significant amount of force, given its slight mass — ideal for use in a lightweight compression garment.

The material is commonly produced in reels of very thin, straight fiber. To transform the fiber into coils, researchers borrowed a technique from another MIT group that previously used coiled nickel-titanium to engineer a heat-activated robotic worm.

Shape-memory alloys like nickel-titanium can essentially be packed to return to an original shape in response to a certain temperature.


Must ReadView All

UK GDP growth to stay steady but subdued: CBI

Textiles | On 8th Dec 2017

UK GDP growth to stay steady but subdued: CBI

The gross domestic product (GDP) in the United Kingdom (UK) will grow ...

Amazon launches operations in Australia

Apparel/Garments | On 8th Dec 2017

Amazon launches operations in Australia

US online retail giant Amazon recently unveiled its business in...

Courtesy: G-III Apparel

Apparel/Garments | On 8th Dec 2017

Q3 FY18 G-III Apparel sales up 16% to $1.02 billion

For the third quarter of fiscal 2018, net sales of G-III Apparel...

Interviews View All

Mohammad Mamun Ar Rashid
UL VS Bangladesh Ltd

Productivity, creativity and innovation play a vital role in the growth of ...

Cindy McNaull
Cordura

We have broad range of options in durable fabrics

Binoy Ravjani
Hero's Fashion

‘One of the recent trends in hand block printing is the indigo process,...

Liz Manning

<div><b>Liz Manning</b>, Business Development Manager at Catexel, has...

Rikesh Mistry

Jupiter Comtex Pvt Ltd, established in 1973, started its textile machinery ...

Abhishek Pachauri

Reckon Industries adapts latest systems for manufacturing from designing...

Eamonn Tighe
Nature Works LLC

Eamonn Tighe, Fibres and Nonwovens - Business Development Manager of...

Silke Brand-Kirsch
Schlegel und Partner

Silke Brand-Kirsch, executive partner of Schlegel und Partner, a leading...

Mark Paterson
Technical Absorbents Ltd

Mark Paterson, R&D manager of Technical Absorbents Ltd talks about Super...

Rupa Sood and Sharan Apparao
Nayaab

Nayaab, an exhibition meant to celebrate Indian weaves, is in its second...

Bani Batra

Bani Batra’s couture wedding collection is inspired by traditional Indian...

Jay Ramrakhiani
Occasions Elegance Wear

It is believed that by early 19th century, Varanasi weavers had moved away ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

December 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
69.2%
No
12.1%
Skip
18.7%

Total Votes: 91

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
61.5%
No
30.8%
Skip
7.7%

Total Votes: 91

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
86.8%
No
9.9%
Skip
3.3%

Total Votes: 91

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
81.3%
No
8.8%
Skip
9.9%

Total Votes: 91


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search