WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A new kind of fabric that changes when your body gets hot or cold, is invented by researchers at the University of Maryland.
- The invention monitors the amount of heat that passes through the fabric.
- Having dual-action threads, the fabric has unique properties that include absorbing and warding off of moisture once it comes in contact with the skin.
The easiest way to ensure that you won’t feel uncomfortable at any time of the day is by dressing in layers. But what if you didn’t have to do all of that? What if your clothing could tell whether you need to shed a layer or not?
That seems to be what the researchers of the University of Maryland have in mind when they came up with a unique kind of new fabric that adjusts accordingly to your body temperature.
The invention actually manages the amount of heat that passes through it. Thanks to metal-coated strands that react to the amount of heat passing by them, the fabric is capable of this incredible feat. Not found in nature, the strands consist of two different types of material. One absorbs moisture while the other one repels it, giving the fabric some unique properties.
If things get too hot, and the fabric is pressed close to sweating skin, the dual-action threads begin to distort from the moisture. As the strands become more warped, more heat passes through the fabric layers at the same time modifying the properties of the coating itself. This action promotes the heat or infrared radiation to escape, cooling the skin rapidly.
On the other hand, if you get chilly, moisture evaporates from the skin and threads and the fabric cools down, returning to its original, warmer state.
“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,” said study co-author Min Ouyang.
Although the research shows a lot of potentials, it might take some time before such fabric makes its way into the market. But it won’t be too long before our clothing can check our comfort without us doing a thing.
The new invention is described in a new research published in the journal Science.