Scientists at the University of Manchester have developed a new smart textile that can be made into adaptive clothing that allows wearers to keep them cool in the heat of the day,media reported. It is understood that this material is achieved by using graphene, which can be regulated to change the thermal radiation of textiles, the research team believes that this technology can also be applied to advanced displays and even spacesuits.
The breakthrough builds on the team’s previous work, which is understood to have used graphene to create a thermal camouflage to hide the wearer’s heat from infrared cameras. The material can be transmitted to the graphene layer of the embedded material through a tiny current. This can change the amount of infrared radiation emitted through the surface of the material, which in one demonstration can be used to shield the thermal signal of an infrared camera to a person’s hand. Now, the team is looking at the positive effects of its adjustable textiles.
Because the higher the body temperature, the more infrared radiation emitted, so the clothes are designed to allow radiation to pass freely through, so as to maintain a lower body temperature, and they also designed to have locked radiation, so that the wearer warms the clothes. Now, the team has adapted its smart textiles to enable them to function dynamically between both states and electronically adjusted.
Professor Coskun Kocabas, who led the study, said the ability to control thermal radiation was essential for key applications, such as temperature management in high temperatures, but maintaining these functions in warming or cooling conditions has always been a challenge.
The team demonstrated this dynamic thermal radiation control by creating a prototype of a garment. But they envision this capability for a variety of other uses, such as interactive displays and even adaptive spacesuits. In the near future, the team hopes to explore its potential to address extreme temperature fluctuations faced by orbiting satellites.
“The next step in this research area is to address the need for dynamic thermal management of Earth orbiting satellites,” Kocabas said. Our technology enables dynamic thermal management of satellites by controlling thermal radiation and regulating satellite temperatureas as needed. “