Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - 17

Carbon nanotube fibers used in new 'smart shirt'
A
Rice University lab has developed a new technology for creating a
health monitoring shirt using flexible, conductive nanotube thread to
weave functionality into regular apparel. The university's Brown School of
Engineering lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Matteo Pasquali
report that the lab sewed nanotube fibers into athletic wear to monitor the
heart rate and take a continual electrocardiogram (EKG) of the wearer. The
fibers are just as conductive as metal wires, but washable, comfortable and
far less likely to break when a body is in motion, according to the researchers.
During experiments, the researchers learned that, on the whole, the shirt
they enhanced was better at gathering data than a standard chest-strap
monitor taking live measurements. When matched with commercial medical
electrode monitors, the carbon nanotube shirt gave slightly better EKGs.
" The shirt has to be snug against the chest, " said Rice graduate student
Lauren Taylor, lead author of the study. " In future studies, we will focus on
using denser patches of carbon nanotube threads so there's more surface
area to contact the skin. "
The research was published in the American Chemical Society journal
Nano Letters. Photo: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University.
NASA tests new
heat shield material
T
he team behind the umbrellalike,
deployable heat shield
design called ADEPT (Adaptable,
Deployable, Entry and Placement
Technology) is testing out a new
material to deliver science payloads
on future missions to Mars and
beyond. Called Spiderweave, the
woven fabric will make it safer for larger vehicles to safely pass through the
atmosphere of more distant locations. It can also be packed up at launch and
stored in a compact space. Previous ADEPT heat shield iterations involved
stitching together individual panels, but engineers found that could often lead
to points of increased stress and other discontinuities. In Spiderweave's design
architecture, materials are continuously woven into the heat shield's fabric.
Bally Ribbon Mills, Bally, Pa., developed the material as a part of
NASA's Small Business Innovation Research program. In a recent test,
it was exposed to temperatures above 3,000 degrees (F). Those extreme
temperatures mimic the conditions a vehicle experiences when entering a
planetary atmosphere. Photo: Spiderweave.
Set against an ordinary cotton T-shirt, a square
of a new experimental textile can be reversed to
either heat or cool. Photo: Nano Letters.
Jacket heats on one
side, cools on the other
S
cientists from China's Zhejiang
University and Westlake
University have created a jacket
out of an experimental, reversible
fabric that can both heat and cool
the wearer. The multilayered
" Janus textile " consists of a base of
expanded polytetrafluoroethylene
(ePTFE) polymer fibers. When a
garment made from the material
is worn with the warming side
facing outwards, zinc and copper
nanoparticles on that side absorb
solar energy and reduce the amount
of body heat that escapes. When the
wearer turns the garment inside
out, a porous coating of polymethyl
methacrylate (PMMA) polymer on the
cooling side reflects the sunlight and
helps dissipate body heat. According
to the scientists, the textile is easy
and inexpensive to manufacture, and
it offers a breathability similar to that
of cotton. A paper on the study, which
is being led by Zhejiang University's
Qiang Li and Westlake University's
Min Qiu, was published in the journal
Nano Letters.
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Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021

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Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - 1
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