Keep your cool with 3D printed nanocomposite textiles

When it’s hot, it’s not always easy to cool off, especially if the situation doesn’t allow you to sit in a cold bath all day. Air-conditioning can bring some relief, but is no friend to the environment, or our wallets. Researchers at the University of Maryland College Park are working on a way to keep your cool, while keeping your clothes on! They developed a new nanocomposite material that can be 3D printed and woven into fabric!

The researchers combined a material called boron nitride, which transfers heat, and polyvinyl alcohol to create a nanocomposite fibre that can be 3D printed. When the material was woven into a fabric and tested on skin, it turned out that the composite was 1.5 to 2 times more efficient at moving heat away from the body compared to pure polyvinyl alcohol or cotton fabrics, respectively. Making clothing with the nanocomposite thread could help keep the wearers cool. In addition, it could reduce the need for air conditioning.

For other fabric to keep you cool, click here.

Photos: Gao et al./American Chemical Society / avilasal