Stanford scientists develop new clothing material that helps you stay cool

Nanopolyethylene allows heat emitted from the body by infrared radiation to pass through, while also being able to reflect 99% of visible light.

    2016/09/13

NSFW    STANFORD, CALIFORNIA — Scientists at Stanford University have developed a material that can help the skin stay cooler than conventional fabrics.

According to the university, a material known as nanopolyethylene has pores that measure 50 to 1,000 nanometers across. It allows the heat emitted from the body by infrared radiation to pass through while it is also able to reflect 99% of visible light.

Cotton clothing, though good at reflecting visible light, only allows 1.5 percent of infrared waves to penetrate, meaning most of the body heat is either absorbed by the fabric or reflected back onto skin. Polyethylene clothing allows infrared waves to penetrate but it also allows most visible light to penetrate as well.

Experiments show nanopolyethylene is able to keep the skin much cooler than cotton or polyethylene.

“If you can cool the person rather than the building where they work or live, that will save energy,” Yi Cui, associate professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford and of photon science at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory was quoted in the university's press release.

The scientists are working on adding more colors, textures and cloth-like characteristics to the material to make it ready for the textile industry.
Nanopolyethylene has pores that measure 50 to 1,000 nanometers across. STANFORD UNIVERSITY / YI CUI GROUP
Nanopolyethylene has pores that measure 50 to 1,000 nanometers across. STANFORD UNIVERSITY / YI CUI GROUP
The material is able to keep the skin much cooler than cotton or polyethylene. L.A. CICERO
The material is able to keep the skin much cooler than cotton or polyethylene. L.A. CICERO
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