Dressing in layers for the weather may soon become a thing of the past as scientists have now created a special new fabric that can either cool you down or warm you up depending upon the environment the fabric finds itself in. But perhaps most important of all, this change happens automatically, with the fabric determining whether it should either cool or insulate its wearer.
As BGR reports, scientists at the University of Maryland are responsible for the creation of this ingenious and sensitive new fabric which has been designed to use the body temperatures of humans as a guide to either warm or cool.
This unique fabric works by keeping track of the infrared radiation, or heat, that it comes into contact with which makes it through the fabric. It is able to accomplish this task thanks to the strands of metal that stand at the ready on the fabric, which in turn alerts it to how best to manage this heat.
These strands have been concocted out of synthetic materials that have carbon nanotubes on them. With one of these synthetic materials absorbing water and the other repelling it, the fabric is able to react astonishingly fast to things like a person’s sweat or even water.
With the fabric’s reaction comes the quick opening of its pores with the carbon nanotubing inching together. In this way, depending upon whether the nanotube coating is either close together or spread far apart, the fabric is able to react accordingly to the heat around it.
According to Futurism, Min Ouyang, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, explained that this new fabric is the first of its kind to act as a regulator of temperature.
“The human body is a perfect radiator. It gives off heat quickly. For all of history, the only way to regulate the radiator has been to take clothes off or put clothes on. But this fabric is a true bidirectional regulator.”
And as Phys.org has reported, Huang Wang, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Maryland and one of the authors on the new study of the temperature-sensitive fabric, stated, “This is the first technology that allows us to dynamically gate infrared radiation.”
While it may be a little while before this new fabric is made commercial and released to the public, the base fiber material is already on the market and the carbon coating will be fairly easy to add to the fabric, according to scientists.
The new study which describes the creation of this unique fabric which either cools or insulates depending on its environment has been published in Science.