The clothes we wear on a daily basis merely cover and protect our bodies, warming us at most. But have we ever had clothes that make us feel cold – as if wearing an air conditioning or refrigeration system? Engineers from the Stanford University had just made that happen.
Source: Carla Schaffer / AAAS
By developing a low-cost, plastic-based textile that can be woven into clothing, they have enabled to cool our bodies through a clothing more efficiently than the usual natural or synthetic fabrics. It works by allowing the body to discharge heat in two ways making the wearer feel nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than wearing cotton clothing.
The first way is already present in ordinary fabrics, which is cooling by letting perspiration evaporate through the material. The other way is the catch of their research: they have revolutionized a cooling mechanism that allows heat from the body emit as infrared radiation to pass through the plastic textile.
Their cooling textile is an intricate mix of nanotechnology, photonics and chemistry that provides polyethylene a viable clothing material. Such sciences allow thermal radiation, air and water vapor to pass right through, and it is opaque to visible light.