Cooling down with nanodiamonds in your clothes

Researchers at RMIT in Australia created smart textiles that can help people cool down faster, using nanodiamonds.

Nanodiamonds are not the same as diamonds used in jewellery. They are cheap to make, cheaper than other carbon materials like graphite oxide. Nanodiamonds have a carbon lattice structure, but are much smaller in size and can be made of waste materials.

In their study, the researchers found that fabric made from cotton coated with nanodiamonds, using a method called electrospinning, showed a reduction of 2-3 degrees Celsius during the cooling down process compared to untreated cotton. In addition, the nanodiamonds increase the UV protection of cotton.

The side of the fabric with the nanodiamond coating touches the skin. The nanodiamonds then transfer the air from the body to the air.

While 3 degrees Celsius may not sound like much, according to the researchers, it could make the difference between turning the air conditioning on or not. This could save up to 30 per cent energy.

The study also shows potential to explore how nanodiamonds can be used to protect buildings from overheating, which can lead to additional environmental benefits.

Photos: Cherry Cai / RMIT University