What type of advanced technology could create winter clothes that capture the body’s heat to help us stay warm, while also potentially cutting down on our home energy bills? The answer is nanotechnology.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, researchers at Stanford University have developed a fabric with silver nanowires that can repurpose the body’s radiant heat. The nanomaterials used to make the fabric capture this heat while maintaining two very important qualities for clothes: breathability and washability. The fabric can generate more warmth by adding a very small amount of electricity – like a sweater with a charger. The researchers estimate that one person could save “about 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, or about what an average home uses in a month.”
The silver nanowire fabric is another classic example of how something so small can make a big difference by enhancing the performance of everyday items. And nowhere has this become more the case than in the world of nanotechnology. The WSJ article notes that nanotechnology is already being used to make garments shed water, kill microbes and block sunlight. Nanotech is also providing a platform for important breakthroughs in other areas like as health care, energy, national security, and information technology.
The American Chemistry Council’s Nanotechnology Panel promotes the responsible development of nanotechnology by advancing good product stewardship practices among nanomaterial producers and users. Panel members have the opportunity to help shape the industry’s positions on nanotechnology regulation, research, and stewardship practices and build relationships with other leaders in the field.
Reach out to me at Jay_West@americanchemistry.com to learn more about the Panel and how its activities can benefit you and your company.