Navigation Links
Real smart: Protective clothing with built-in A/C
Date:5/14/2012

Functional sportswear is taken for granted nowadays. It is quite unexceptional for a sports jacket, for instance, to be both waterproof and breathable. In the case of working clothes, the functionality is mostly restricted to personal protection against fire, sharp objects, chemicals and so on, with wearer comfort (mostly) not being significance top priority. Bullet-proof vests made of Kevlar, as their name suggests, hold off bullets but they are also impenetrable for water vapor. Thus police personnel who must wear such gear under their uniforms sweat profusely when the weather is warm. A situation that is merely uncomfortable when working in the office negatively affects the physical performance of police officers on duty.

Empa has, therefore, together with its industrial partners, developed a smart protective vest with an integrated cooling system based on the Coolpad technology, originally designed for use in cooling garments for medical applications. The Coolpads built into the vest are filled with water, which is allowed to evaporate through the membrane, cooling down its surroundings. A mini fan blows air though a fabric spacer behind the pad, providing further cooling.

Integrating such an A/C into a garment proved to be quite tricky. It required a novel fabric spacer, which was stable under pressure yet also flexible and soft to the touch, and which offered very little resistance to air flow. A suitable spacer was developed together with Swiss textile manufacturer Eschler. Likewise, there were no fans on the market, which were small enough to be built into the vest; so Empa engineers designed a miniaturized version themselves. Two units including batteries and control electronics now provide the cooling air circulation in the vest. Similarly, the cool pads used till then proved unsatisfactory since in the protective vest they were mechanically quite stressed they frequently leaked water. A new technique for welding the ultra-thin pad membranes using diode lasers proved to be much more reliable than the conventional method, with the seam remaining soft and flexible. In addition the Empa specialists were able to increase the evaporation rate and therefore the cooling ability.

But that wasn't all. In order to simplify refilling the cool pads with water they developed a portable filling station that can be attached to the vest with a quick-release fastener. During the same pit stop, the mini fans can be exchanged for those with freshly charged batteries. Then the vest is ready once again for three to four hours of duty.

Comparative measurements show that the new vest is significantly lighter and also cools much better than systems currently on the market. And in practical use, too, the vest has proven its worth. Staff of the Zrich City police force tested the vest over several warm summer days and gave the new innovation the thumbs up. The first small series of the novel under-uniform protective vest will be produced in the near future by project partner Unico swiss tex GmbH. The smart cooling technology is, however, also suitable for protective suits worn over normal clothing, uniform jackets, camouflage suits and even for rucksacks. Developments along these lines are already in progress.


'/>"/>

Contact: Markus Weder
markus.weder@empa.ch
41-587-657-774
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists unlock the secrets of C. difficiles protective shell
2. HIV dearms protective protein in cells
3. UMMS researchers isolate first neuroprotective gene in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
4. Protective footwear for diabetics at a high-street price
5. Structure of protective protein in the eye lens revealed
6. Garlic oil shows protective effect against heart disease in diabetes
7. Trojan Horse ploy to sneak protective drug into brains of stroke patients
8. Good cholesterol structure identified, could help explain protective effects
9. Experimental radioprotective drug safe for lung cancer patients, says Pitt study
10. Spray-on protective coating wins R&D 100 Award
11. The immune system has protective memory cells, researchers discover
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives ... and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market ... TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By ... and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market ... on account of growing security concerns across various end ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass ... and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice ... security and usability. ... new partnership. "This marketing and technology ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the ... major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP and Clean ... based venture capital funds which together hold approximately ... fully diluted, as converted basis), that they have entered ... equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. Ltd. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Cancer experts ... they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. ... here to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in the blood, ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mission to bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. ... and implementation of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: