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Wear cooling clothes to beat the heat

Jul '07
Isik Tarakçioglu
In what may bring relief to millions of people reeling under the effect of extreme summers, the Aegean University's (EÜ) Turkish Textile Association Joint Research Center has developed a cooling textile that will considerably cut down the heat you feel during high temperature.

Using salt hydrates obtained from Acigöl found in hats, scientists managed to reduce heat conditions of 50 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius. Coordinator at the research center, Professor Isik Tarakçioglu said, "This is not a new invention. This kind of temperature-changing clothing was first used in astronaut suits. We have just simplified it."

Tarakçioglu further added that when they had initially started experiments in cooling textiles, they had car seats in mind. Once they succeeded in bringing down temperatures of car seats, they tried it on hats, blankets and curtains.

"Since we had taken important steps in developing intelligent textiles, we received the 'Useful Model' certificate. We are now in touch with some textile companies and you may soon be able to see some samples in markets," Tarakçioglu said. He also said that cooling textiles can be effectively used in military clothing and curtains.

According to Tarakçioglu, efficacy of the product depended on its usage. If cooled in a fridge, the products made from cooling textiles will be more effective. "Anyhow, at the end of a hot day, they must be cooled below 28 degrees Celsius," Tarakçioglu said.

Yet another remarkable achievement of the research team was in modifying the salt hydrates in order to reduce cost. "We modified the salt hydrates obtained from Acigöl as phase changing materials (PCM). Thus we managed to reduce the cost," Tarakçioglu said.

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