A low-cost plastic-based textile has been developed by Stanford engineers and has the ability to filter the radiation emitted by the human body, so making clothes with it we could do without, more often than not, of an air conditioning system.
This new material would allow the user feel almost 4 ° C less than with traditional cotton clothing. To conceive this material, nanotechnology, photonics and chemistry have been mixed so that polyethylene allows thermal vapor, air and water to pass through, and is opaque to visible light. To make this thin material more similar to a fabric, they created a three-layer version: two sheets of treated polyethylene separated by a cotton mesh that gives strength and thickness.
All objects, including our bodies, give off heat in the form of infrared radiation, invisible wavelength and benign light. According Shanhui Fan, professor of electrical engineering expert in photonics:
40 to 60 percent of our body heat dissipates in the form of infrared radiation when we are sitting in an office.
The researchers found a variant of polyethylene commonly used in the manufacture of batteries that has a specific nanostructure that is opaque to visible light, but that nevertheless it is transparent to infrared radiation, and it could let body heat escape.