New passive daytime radiative cooling textile makes a 4.8 degrees Celsius difference
Researchers present a new, scalable metafabric knitted with composite microfibers that provides daytime radiative cooling functionality in a durable textile. Our rapidly warming world has created a demand for innovative new textiles that help passively cool those who wear them.
Various types of radiative cooling textiles, which improve the heat transfer between the skin and environment, offer a promising form of personal thermal management. However, many of these materials lack durability or are challenging to produce at scales needed for widespread application. Here, Shaoning Zeng and colleagues present a multilayer metafabric composed of a titanium oxide polylactic acid composite laminated with a polytetrafluoroethylene layer. This combination creates a textile with exceptional passive radiative cooling functionality and excellent mechanical properties, like durability, waterproofness, and breathability.
According to the authors, the fabric can provide both high emissivity (94.5%) in the atmospheric window and high reflectivity (92.4%) in the solar spectrum. What’s more, this material can be easily and cost-effectively produced through scalable industrial manufacturing routes. To demonstrate the practical application of the material, Zeng et al. conducted a series of tests, one of which showed that the human body covered by the metafabric could be passively cooled down roughly 4.8 degrees Celsius lower than that covered by commercial cotton fabric.