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Innovation That Helps People to Adapt to the Weather Changes

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 10:07
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Stanford Designs New Textile That Absorbs Weather Patterns

Scientists and engineers at Stanford University have made a solution for the weather changes and how to feel comfortable anytime. Read more to get new insights.

How many times a day do you have to change your clothing because of the fast-changing weather patterns? What if you could stay comfortable regardless of the temperature outside? Thanks to researchers at Stanford, you soon can because of their dedicated work over the last two years to perfect fabric that can be worn during any time during the year.

In November, professor Yi Cui published his material science and engineering team’s findings which stated that their multi-layered textile could either warm or cool the wearer depending on which side the reversible garment was on.

Under microscopic analysis, researchers studied the nanoporous polyethylene (nanoPE) that covered the copper and porous carbon. During his research and artificial testing, the temperature of the skin ranged from 89.6 to 96.8 Fahrenheit when flipped outward on the porous carbon side. The heat escaped through the fabric. In a cooling mode, the degrees changed accordingly from between one and nine, and the skin adjusted as the heat radiated away from the body. With the copper side facing out, the heat did not escape. While in a warm mode, the temperature in the body warmed by only four degrees.

In 2016, Cui and other Stanford colleagues wanted to invent fabric that allowed people to stay comfortable while also reducing the energy needed for heating or air conditioning. Using a futuristic concept, they wanted to make a product that was environmentally friendly. With a lens for ideas, he noted the design was built around heating or cooling people rather than the areas in which they work and live. Based on their research in 2016, their first product prototype was solely for cooling the body. It was made of a kitchen wrap layer and could reduce energy needs by 20 to 30%. The most recent product adjustment added a heating element which made it a garment wearable at any time of the year. The first of its kind, the fabric offers a potential benefit to people of all ages and genders which makes it also very marketable.

Now that the team has figured out the concept, they have restructured their attention to turn the fabrics into wearable garments. The group also wants to make sure the material is washable which could dramatically change the relevancy if unaccomplishable. A Stanford electrical engineering professor, Shanhui Fan, believed this product and functional material could lead to other product opportunities that combined nanoPE and thermal engineering. The Stanford professors also spoke of futuristic clothing that combined these elements with medical or entertainment ideas.

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