Chinese scientists created a fabric that cools in the heat and warms in the cold

Scientists have developed a new type of fabric that warms the owner in the cold and does not allow overheating in the heat. The experimental material was created at Huangzhong University of Science and Technology in China. It is made of silk yarn and chitosan (a natural compound found in crustacean shells), which form fibers with a porous microstructure.

These pores are filled with polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is able to change its aggregation state depending on temperature. In warmth, it takes the form of a liquid and hardens when cold. The fibers are coated with organic polymer polymer polydimethylsiloxane to prevent PEG from leaking out when it is in the liquid state.

Thanks to this combination of materials, the resulting yarns are strong, flexible and water repellent. For example, by placing a gloved hand in a chamber heated to 50ºC, the PEG has become a liquid that absorbs heat from the environment and thus cools the skin where it is immediately adjacent to the material. However, once the test person moved the hand to a chamber cooled to 10 °C, the PEG solidified and released the accumulated heat, thus heating the skin.

Scientists argue that in the future the process of producing new technological fabric can be deployed on a large scale. And the material integration into the existing textile industry should not be difficult.

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