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University of Maryland team develops cooling fibre
12
Nov '17
Courtesy: ACN
Courtesy: ACN
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed a 3-D printable fibre for clothes that imparts a cooling impact. This may lead to development of personal cooling units, without needing any external energy. Clothes that help one cool down have been harder to achieve. Such attempts have led to materials with bulky components, requiring a lot of energy.

These attempted materials have also been expensive. However, the new material for clothing could be used as one’s own personal cooling unit, without any external energy needed to power it. The research is published in ACS Nano.

Air-conditioned buildings bring welcome relief to people coming in from the heat. But creating that comfort comes with a cost in the form of increased energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

Functionalised clothes have become the norm in recent years. Moisture-wicking and smell-proof athletic gear, and shirts and tops coated with a chemical layer that blocks ultraviolet rays are already available. Clothes that help one cool down, however, have been harder to achieve. So far, such attempts have resulted in materials that incorporate bulky components, require a lot of energy or are expensive.

Liangbing Hu and colleagues at University of Maryland College Park wanted to see if they could come up with a more practical option.

The researchers combined boron nitride—a material that transfers heat—and polyvinyl alcohol to create a nanocomposite fibre that can be 3-D printed and woven into fabric. Testing to simulate the material on skin showed that the composite is 1.5 to two times more efficient at moving heat away from the body when compared to pure polyvinyl alcohol or cotton fabrics, respectively.

Making clothes with the nanocomposite thread could help keep wearers comfortable and reduce the need to cool entire buildings, the researchers say. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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