The idea of 'cool' clothing has been redefined, as researchers and engineers from Stanford University have come up with a low-cost, plastic-based textile that can keep people cool without the need for air conditioning.
According to Science magazine, the fabric allows body heat to pass through in the form of infrared radiation, ensuring that a person wearing the clothes feels up to 2.7 degrees Celsius cooler than cotton and 2.1 degrees Celsius cooler than commercially available synthetics.
"Under normal conditions, when you're not exercising, about 50 percent of heat is lost through infrared radiation," lead study author Yi Cui told the Washington Post. It is this heat that gets trapped in a blanket, making the body warm.
The fabric developed by his team does just the opposite, ensuring that the radiation goes out of the clothes without any resistance. Noting that this technology can reduce usage of air conditioners and fans and go a long way in tackling climate change, the team is taking it ahead.
Right now, the fabric is solid and flat and feels odd against the skin. "When you touch it, it’s soft, it’s flexible, and it almost feels like a regular fabric. What’s missing is that texture. A regular textile is not flat," Cui added.
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- Stanford University
- Air conditioning
- Mechanical engineering
- Yi Cui