Scientists from the University of Maryland have developed a fabric that can automatically adjust its insulating properties depending on external conditions. Clothing made of this fabric will people you feel comfortable in any weather.
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The technology is based on infrared radiation, which is a primary way the body releases heat. The fabric creates a so-called ‘gating effect’, when specially engineered yarn is coated with a conductive metal. As a result, when it is warm and wet, the strands of yarn are brought closer together thus opening the pores in the fabric and allowing more infrared radiation to pass through, cooling the person down. When it gets drier and colder, the fabric provides insulation.
Changes in the fabric structure are triggered by external conditions and occur instantly. Thus, people won’t realize they’re hot or cold.