SinoScan UK newsletter article
How Engineered Silk Can Keep Us 12c Cooler
We have all experienced that horrible feeling on a hot summer’s day when the sun is sweltering, and our clothes offer little-to-no respite from the warm weather.
However, Jia Zhu from Nanjing University in China and scientists at Stanford University in the USA have worked together to manufacture an enhanced material to help us keep cooler in hotter months.
Inspired by silk, which feels cool against the skin because it reflects most of the sunlight that strikes it, top scientists have experimented by embedding aluminium oxide nanoparticles with the fabric to block even more sunlight.
Their experiment found that this newly engineered material blocks 95% of sunlight due to the aluminium oxide nanoparticles’ ability to reflect ultraviolet wavelengths from the lamp in the sky.
As a result of a higher UV block rate, during its testing phase, it kept the subjects’ bodies 12.5c cooler than a regular cotton t-shirt.
Saving The Planet
Research shows that approximately 15% of global energy usage can be traced to keeping us cool, whether that is powering air-conditioning in offices or ceiling and desk fans at home.
The ability to engineer clothes that keep human’s cooler without the need of energy would help contribute towards the climate change battle we currently face.
Zhu states “Artificial silk is comfortable to wear, breathable, and can be washed and dried repeatedly without breaking apart. Manufacture is cost-effective and it can be mass-produced.”
At Sinoscan, we’re excited to see this technology develop and be used in garments for everyday life.