Duke University Materials Scientists have developed a lightweight material that can absorb thermal energy when the material is dry. If a person wears it and starts sweating, the material will open up tiny vents to let the heat escape. Once the person is dry, the vents will close itself.
This innovation will help the wearer of the material to remain comfortable in various situations. The research paper has been published in the journal Science Advances.
The assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, Po-Chun Hsu has said that, people wear layers of clothing to adjust how much heat their clothing is trapping after their body is heated up. But researchers understood if we strategically place patches of a particular material that will help to let the heat go when a person is sweating will be very beneficial. This is why the researchers thought about making this one-piece-fits-all textile.
The scientists first tried with nylon for the suitable material of this research. The scientists say nylon is inexpensive, lightweight and soft. Nylon also curls itself when it is exposed to moisture.
Though nylon is not considered as a material for making warm clothing. The scientists added a layer of heat-trapping silver on top of the material. They also tried to make the layer of silver as thin as possible. The researchers noticed that after adding the silver layer, the nylon flaps curl back even more than it did previously.
The scientists have experimented with various layers of silver. The researchers finally seen a Goldilocks spot at 50 nanometres which is 2,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper. In this position, the silver started to interfere with the opening of the vents.
The researchers observed the silver is shrinking as the nylon is expanding when exposed to heat.