Air conditioning and other space cooling methods account for about 10% of all U.S. electricity consumption, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Now, researchers report ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have developed a material to cool the wearer without using any electricity. The fabric transfers heat, allows moisture to evaporate from the skin and repel water. Watch a video about the new fabric here.
Cooling your body of a person is much more efficient than cooling an entire room or building. Various clothing and textiles have been designed to do this, but most have disadvantages, such as poor cooling capacity; high electricity consumption; complex and time-consuming manufacturing; and / or high cost. Yang Si, Bin Ding and colleagues wanted to develop a personal cooling fabric that can efficiently transfer heat away from the body, while also breathable, water-saving and easy to make .
The researchers made the new material by electrospinning polymer (polyurethane), a water-repellent version of the polymer (fluorinated polyurethane) and a thermally conductive filler (boron nitride nanosheets) into nanofiber membranes. These membranes repel water from the outside, but had pores large enough to allow sweat to evaporate from the skin and air to circulate. Boron nitrogen nanosheets are coated with polymer nanofibers, which form a network that conducts heat from an indoor source to an outdoor air. In the tests, the thermal conductivity was higher than that of many conventional or high-tech fabrics. The membrane can be useful not only for personal cooling, but also for collecting solar energy, desalinating seawater and thermal handling of electronic devices, the researchers say.
Flexible material shows potential for use in fabrics to warm, cool
Xi Yu et al, Thermoconductive, Moisture Permeable, and Superhydrophobic Nanofiber Membranes with Interpenetrated Boron Nitrogen for Personal Cooling Fabrics, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2020). DOI: 10.1021 / acsami.0c04486
Provided by the American Chemical Society
Citation: New fabric can help keep you cool in summer, even without A / C (2020, July 29) obtained on July 30, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-07-fabric -cool-summer-ac. html
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