A team of Stanford scientists believe nanoPE could ease our reliance on expensive cooling systems used in buildings

A team of scientists have developed a plastic textile that could be used to manufacture clothing, and cool people who wear it.  While many breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics are available, the new nanoporous fabric, dubbed nanoPE, adds a second dimension of cooling because it uses polyethylene, which unlike other materials, allows the body’s infrared radiation to pass through. Polyethylene is the material commonly used in plastic wrap.

Led by Stanford University researcher Yi Cui, the team released their findings in a paper this month. “Under normal conditions, when you’re not exercising, about 50 percent of heat is lost through infrared radiation,” Cui told The Washington Post. “No fabric on the market is totally permeable to this radiation. If you could, in the summer time, make this radiation go out with nothing blocking it, you would feel cooler.”

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