Active auxetic opens when it’s hot and closes when it’s cold
Often in spring, it is not clear what you should wear, since it is cold enough to wear a sweater in the morning and too warm for one in the afternoon. However, the time of putting a sweater on only to take it off later in the day – or the other way around – might be over soon. Researchers at MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab have developed a smart material, called active auxetic, that reacts to temperature, opening itself when it’s warm and closing again when it’s cold.
The material is a type of auxetic, a material that is designed to grow and shrink at the same rate along x and y axes. The difference with usual auxetics is that this material does not need a motor or human interaction, as it actively responds to outside stimulus like temperature.
The material would be great for clothing that you can wear all year round. When it’s warm, the material opens, much like the pores in human skin. This allows for air circulation. When it’s cold, the material closes again, providing increased insulation. The material can be ‘programmed’, so it is no doubt possible to tweak the temperature needed for the material to open or close.