Dressing in layers is usually the easiest way to make sure you do not feel uncomfortable at any point of the day. If things get too hot, just take a layer off and you're good and when you get cold again, just put it back on. But what if you did not have to do that at all? What if your clothes could say if you were too hot or too cool and would adjust accordingly?
That's exactly what researchers at the University of Maryland seem to have with an incredibly unique substance that varies with body temperature
The invention described in a new research paper published in Science published, actively manages the amount of infrared radiation (that's just heat) that passes through them. The fabric can achieve this remarkable performance thanks to metal-coated threads that respond to the passing amount of heat.
The threads consist of two different types of materials that you can not find in nature. One of the thread materials absorbs moisture while the other rejects them. This may sound like a bad idea, but actually gives the fabric unique properties.
If the fabric is close to the skin that is sweating, the dual-function threads will drain due to moisture. As the strands change shape, they allow more heat to pass through the fabric layer while also altering the properties of the coating itself, promoting the escape of infrared radiation and rapidly cooling the skin. The opposite is true even if the fabric cools and moisture evaporates from the skin and threads and the fabric returns to its original, warmer configuration.
"The human body is a perfect radiator. It gives off heat quickly, "said co-author Min Ouyang in a statement. "For the entire story, the only way to regulate the cooler was to take off or put on the clothes. But this stuff is a true bidirectional regulator. "
It will take a while for this substance to become popular in consumer goods, but the research is promising and it will not take long for our clothing to monitor it to our consolation without us doing anything.