WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A “smart thread” is specially dyed to change its color when there are dangerous gases like ammonia, carbon monoxide, or hydrogen chloride in the air.
- This can be used to make fabrics for those working with oil and gas.
- In the U.S. alone, around 50,000 people go to the emergency room because of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Tufts University researchers have produced what they call a “smart thread”. These threads are dyed with a special chemical dye that changes their color in the presence of toxic gases in the air like ammonia, carbon monoxide, or hydrogen chloride.
The “smart thread” can be used to produce clothing that can alert the wearer to the presence of these dangerous gases with the fabric’s quick color-changing abilities. Researchers said the depth and intensity of the color change depending on the concentration of the gas in the air.
They also made sure the threads are durable with the dyes sealed inside the threads with the use of a polymer. This way, clothing made from this material can be used repeatedly and washed without decreasing the quality of its performance.
Experts also say that a smartphone can be used to get a more precise reading of the color change, allowing the detection of multiple gases at one time.
The threads can have potentially life-saving applications like using the threads or fabrics for those who work excavating oil or gas. They can also be used to detect carbon monoxide leaks as this gas is both colorless and odorless.
Every year, around 50,000 people in the U.S. end up in the emergency room as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Of those thousands of cases, about 430 of them die.
Researchers say that though their smart thread won’t replace electronically powered detectors, it provides a way to close the gap between training and experience.
Source: Daily Mail