Othermaterials has developed a new fabric technology which combines different materials, including polyolefin, to offer variable insulation.
Previous attempts at so-called phase change materials have concentrated on regulating the size of pores in the fabric relative to temperature. But with Othermaterials, they use a “biomorph actuator” which relies on combining materials that react differently depending on the temperature. In this case, when stacked, they produce a curve; the lower the temperature, the more the curve. This can used as a structure to create air pockets for the purpose of insulation. According to the company, early prototypes have demonstrated a more than doubling of the material’s thickness with a temperature change of 10 Deg C.
Othermaterials developed this technology under an award from ARPA-e and is concentrating on convincing business owners of the material’s worth in regards to savings in hearing and cooling costs. However, I’m much more interested in its potential for outdoor and military clothing. The obvious application is outerwear, but it may also work for sleep systems as well as for protecting patients under field medical care.
Learn more at materialcomforts.com.