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Web Exclusive | September 2016

Stanford scientists develop skin line fabric

A team of multidisciplinary researchers at Stanford University has developed skin-like fabric material that cools the body more efficiently.

In the Science Journal, the researchers from Stanford report that they used nanoporous polyethylene to develop a textile material which aides radioactive cooling while maintaining breathability, wicking and necessary mechanical strength.

According to the report in Science, the researchers have also devised an instrument to simulate skin temperature. The use of nanoporous polyethylene fabric resulted in the lowering of skin temperature by about 2.7 degree centigrade when compared with another commonly used next-to-skin fabric.

According to Yi Cui, an associate professor of materials science at Stanford and the lead author of the study, the fabric effectively cools the person, which makes cooling the building unnecessary thereby saving energy.

Nanoporous plastic textile transports the body heat as infrared rays due to the nanostructured polyethylene. Researchers modified the polyethylene material that is commonly used in battery development which enables it to be opaque to visible light but transparent to infrared rays so that the heat can be dissipated.

According to Professor Shanhui Fan, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, who co-authored the study, this research can lead to the development of new materials that can trap or let go infrared radiations.

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

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