Beat the Cold by Stitching These Heating Patches to Your ClothesDecember 17, 2018 12:47
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Scientists, including one of the Indian-origin, have developed flexible, battery-powered heating patches that can be stitched into clothes and keep the body warm.
The researchers from Rutgers University and Oregon State University found a cost-effective way to create the patches by using aggravated pulses of light to fuse tiny silver wires with polyester.
Their heating performance is about 70 percent higher than similar patches created by other researchers, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
"This is important in the built environment, where we waste lots of energy by heating buildings - instead of selectively heating the human body," said Rajiv Malhotra, an assistant professor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
It is estimated that 47 percent of global energy is used for interior heating, and 42 percent of that energy is squandered to heat empty space and objects instead of people, the study notes.
Solving the global energy crisis - a major contributor to global warming - would require a sharp reduction in energy for indoor heating.
Personal thermal management, which focuses on heating the human body as needed, is an emerging potential solution.
Such patches may also someday help warm anyone who works or plays outdoors, researchers said.
They created highly efficient, flexible, durable and inexpensive heating patches by using "intense pulsed-ligh sintering" to fuse silver nanowires - thousands of times thinner than a human hair - to polyester fibers, using pulses of high-energy light.
Next steps comprise seeing if this method can be used to create other smart fabrics, including patch-based sensors and circuits.
The engineers also want to find out how many patches would be required and where they should be placed on people to keep them comfy while reducing indoor energy consumption.