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:1/27/2016)... WEST CHESTER, Ohio , Jan. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... services supplier based in West Chester, Ohio ... and their award winning service staff, based in ... Track,s technical capacity and ability to provide modifications, installations ... John Dovalina , CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... , January 21, 2016 ... a new market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition ... Software Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), ... Global forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... to reach USD 22.65 Billion by 2020, at ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... , Jan. 15, 2016 Recent publicized ... small to find new ways to ensure data security ... iOS and Android that ties ... biometrics, transforming it into a hardware authorization token. Customer ... swipe their fingerprint on their KodeKey enabled device to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... DelveInsight,s, "Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase ... in depth insights on the pipeline drugs ... Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) Inhibitors. The DelveInsight,s Report ... of development including Discovery, Pre-clinical, IND, Phase ... Report covers the product clinical trials information ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 8, 2016  CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR ... in oncology, today announced that it has entered ... Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. and Hercules Technology ... financing. --> --> ... of financing under the loan and security agreement.  ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Thomas J. Todorow ... Executive Vice President for Corporate Services and the Chief Financial Officer at The ... Billing Operations, Treasury, Managed Care Contracting, Supply Chain, and Investments. , Prior to ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... wide range of loose, bulk foods at various stages of the production process. ... used to inspect large bulk products post packaging such as sacks of dry ...
Breaking Biology Technology: