A team of researchers from The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute has engineered smart adaptive clothing that can lower body temperature of the wearer in hot climates. They have achieved this by harnessing thermal properties and flexibility of graphene.
Researchers foresee that this technology can also be applied to advanced displays and even spacesuits
Professor Coskun Kocabas, who led the research, said, “Ability to control the thermal radiation is a key necessity for several critical applications such as temperature management of the body in excessive temperature climates. Thermal blankets are a common example used for this purpose. However, maintaining these functionalities as the surroundings heats up or cools down has been an outstanding challenge,”
University of Manchester has a long history with graphene
In their previous work they produced a thermal camouflage to hide a wearer’s heat from infrared cameras, using graphene.
Now they are working to generate tune-able textile. To keep wearer cool, infrared radiations emitted by the body are allowed to pass freely through this special textile. However for keeping the wearer warm, special textile is designed to lock infrared radiations emitted by the body.
Use of this technology in satellites
“The next step for this area of research is to address the need for dynamic thermal management of earth-orbiting satellites. Satellites in orbit experience excesses of temperature, when they face the sun, and they freeze in the earth’s shadow. Our technology could enable dynamic thermal management of satellites by controlling the thermal radiation and regulate the satellite temperature on demand.” said Kocabas.