The membrane could be useful not only for personal cooling, but also for solar energy collection, seawater desalination and thermal
management of electronic devices.  
/   American Chemical Society courtesy photo














Published Tuesday, August 4, 2020


New fabric could help keep you cool
in the summer, even without A/C,
scientists say



By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Cooling off a person’s body is much more efficient than cooling an entire room or building. Various clothing and textiles have been designed to do just that, except most have disadvantages, such as poor cooling capacity; large electricity consumption; complex, time-consuming manufacturing; and/or high cost, said the scientist from the non-profit scientific organization American Chemical Society.

According to researchers Yang Si, Bin Ding and society colleagues, they wanted to develop a personal cooling fabric that could efficiently transfer heat away from the body, while also being breathable, water repellent and easy to make.

The researchers made the new material by electrospinning a polymer (polyurethane), a water-repelling version of the polymer (fluorinated polyurethane) and a thermally conductive filler (boron nitride nanosheets) into nanofibrous membranes.

These membranes repelled water from the outside, but they had large enough pores to allow sweat to evaporate from the skin and air to circulate. The boron nitride nanosheets coated the polymer nanofibers, forming a network that conducted heat from an inside source to the outside air.

In tests, the thermal conductivity was higher than that of many other conventional or high-tech fabrics. The membrane could be useful not only for personal cooling, but also for solar energy collection, seawater desalination and thermal management of electronic devices, the researchers said.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program for the Central Universities and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.






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Could the use of a special fabric reduce the negative health effects of air conditioning?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com