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US scientists develop nanowire clothing to trap body heat
15
Jan '15
A team of US scientists has developed a novel nanowire coating for clothes that can both generate heat and trap the heat from our bodies better than regular clothes, according to reports from American Chemical Society’s (ACS) journal Nano Letters.

Lead researcher Yi Cui from Stanford University in California and his team developed lightweight, breathable mesh materials that are flexible enough to coat normal clothes.

When compared to regular clothing material, the special nanowire cloth trapped body heat far more effectively. Because the coatings are made out of conductive materials, they can also be actively warmed with an electricity source to further crank up the heat. The researchers calculated that their thermal textiles could save about 1,000 kilowatt hours per person every year which is equal to the amount of electricity an average US home consumes in one month.

Yi Cui said, “The technology can help us reduce our reliance on conventional energy sources.”

Heating consumes large amount of energy and is a primary source of greenhouse gas emission. Although energy-efficient buildings are developing quickly based on improving insulation and design, a large portion of energy continues to be wasted on heating empty space and nonhuman objects. Here, the team of scientists developed a system of personal thermal management using metallic nanowire-embedded cloth that can reduce this waste.

The metallic nanowires form a conductive network, which not only is highly thermal insulating because it reflects human body infrared radiation, but also allows Joule heating to complement the passive insulation.

Scientists and policymakers the world over are trying to reduce the impact of indoor heating by improving insulation and construction materials to keep fuel-generated warmth inside. (GK)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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