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Smart fabric radiates heat to keep you cooler in the sun

Clothes and covers made of a smart fabric that radiates heat and reflects light could help people and objects that are out in the sun stay several degrees cooler.

Guangming Tao at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, and his colleagues developed what they call a “metafabric” by combining microscopic beads and fibres of titanium oxide, Teflon and a plastic called polylactic acid, all embedded within larger fibres.

The beads of titanium oxide – a substance also found in sunscreens – and the Teflon reflect ultraviolet and visible light, while the polylactic acid fibres emit infrared light. The sizes of the particles are designed to optimise these properties.