The world as we know it will continue to bring us heat waves as climate change ramps up around the world. It's time we started adapting, starting with the clothes.
Researchers at some Chinese universities have created what they call "metafabric", or "metatissue" that incorporates reflective nanoparticles. The fabric also “reacts” to extreme heat by repelling most of the sunlight. A way to keep people cool, and perhaps to limit the use of air conditioners which are only making things worse.
The proofs of the anti-heat metatissue on the mannequin
Scientists tested the metatissue on a student by dressing him in a "fifty fifty" jacket. Half of the garment was made of heat-resistant metatissue and the other half in cotton. After an hour in the sun, half of the jacket is covered in metate fabric it was 5 degrees Celsius colder than the other side, according to research published in the journal Science. Equally encouraging results in longer tests (this time on a mannequin that simulates the skin).
We are consuming enormous amounts of energy to cool our environment. If we can turn this type of fabric into clothes and sell them to people, then we can save a lot of energy and lower the amount of heat.Yaoguang Ma, senior study author and optical engineer from Zhejiang University.
A trend… space
Metatissue goes a step further than existing SPF protective clothing. The latter absorb ultraviolet light to protect the wearer's skin but do not manage heat. Metatextile, on the other hand, has the same light-reflecting components as SPF garments, but it also contains Teflon to reflect heat and ultraviolet light as well. In doing so, this metatissue is the first fabric to use the same heat protection principles as paints that protect the exteriors of buildings and space shuttles.
“Essentially, it's a mirror,” says Ma.