Silver Nanowire-Coated Textiles for Cold Weather Clothing

by | Sep 4, 2017

Energized fabrics could keep soldiers warm and battle-ready in extreme climatic operating environments.

Paola D’Angelo, Ph.D. (pictured right) and Elizabeth Hirst, Ph.D. (pictured left), demonstrating silver nanowire coated fabric on the battery powered device

The modern uniform for paratroopers is not efficient in the prevention of numbness in the hands and feet in arctic weather conditions. Scientists from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center have conducted research to create high-tech fabrics with the potential to warm soldiers up and to capture sweat.

At the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington, DC, Paola D’Angelo, Ph.D. (pictured right) and Elizabeth Hirst, Ph.D. (pictured left) reported their recent development of a silver nanowire-coated electronic textile that provides multiple protection capabilities. It was revealed that the temperature of the silver nanowire-coated textile increases by 38 °C in 1 minute when 3 V are applied to 1-inch by 1-inch fabrics. The team have also demonstrated that the silver nanowires coated on the fabrics can withstand repeated laundering.

Incorporating an additional layer of sweat-absorbing hydrogel particles looks to be a promising method to stop other layers of the fabrics from getting wet, and future work will focus on the interaction between the hydrogel and silver mesh, as well as exploring different power sources. The ultimate goal is to improve soldiers’ comfort during missions in extremely cold weather.

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