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An all-weather radiative human body cooling textile

Abstract

Radiative cooling textiles dissipate human body heat without any energy input, providing a sustainable means for personal thermal management. However, there is still a lack of textile materials to support efficient cooling in varied outdoor and indoor environments. Here we show a polyoxymethylene (POM) nanotextile design that not only achieves selective emission in the atmospheric window (8–13 μm) but also shows transmission in the remaining mid-infrared wavebands and reflection of sunlight (0.3–2.5 μm). As a result, the POM textile achieves efficient radiative human body cooling both outdoors (under sunny and cloudy conditions) and indoors (0.5–8.8 °C lower than typical textiles). Moreover, the textile design shows favourable wearability and outperforms its commercial counterparts when used as protective clothing. The POM material provides both indoor and outdoor human body cooling and introduces new possibilities in the rational design of next-generation smart textiles and other applications supporting sustainability.

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Fig. 1: Design and model calculations of a textile taking an adaptive radiative cooling mode.
Fig. 2: Design, preparation and spectral analysis of the POM textile.
Fig. 3: Human body cooling measurements of the POM textile, by comparing it with bare skin and skin covered by commercial cotton, transmission-type PE and emission-type PVDF.
Fig. 4: Wearability testing of the POM textile.

Data availability

All data are available in the main text or the supplementary materials. Source data are provided with this paper.

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Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2020YFA0210702, 2020YFC2201103) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (22075163, 51872156).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

R.Z., X.W., J.Z. and J.L. conceived the idea. X.W. and J.L. designed the models and experiments. X.W. and J.L. performed the material preparation and characterization with the help of Q.J., W.Z., B.W., R.L., S.Z., F.W., Y.H., Y.Z. and P.L.; X.W. and Q.J. performed the modelling work. X.W. wrote the paper. R.Z. supervised the project. All the authors provided discussion and comments.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jia Zhu or Rufan Zhang.

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Peer review

Peer review information

Nature Sustainability thanks the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Texts 1–13, Supplementary Figs. 1–49 and Supplementary Tables 1–3.

Reporting Summary

Supplementary Video 1

Process of qualitative test of air permeability with the SET-type POM sandwiched between air (upper) and water (lower).

Supplementary Video 2

Result of permeability test of the SET-type POM. The continuous bubble transmittance and effective isolation of water and air shows the remarkable breathability and high waterproofness of our POM textile.

Supplementary Video 3

Sunny outdoor infrared video of human body wearing POM-based protective clothing tested in Beijing, China (40°0′33″ N, 116°20′0.6″ E, 16 May 2022).

Supplementary Video 4

Cloudy outdoor infrared video of human body wearing POM-based protective clothing tested in Beijing (17 May 2022).

Supplementary Video 5

Indoor infrared video of human body wearing POM-based protective clothing tested in Beijing (17 May 2022).

Supplementary Video 6

Sunny outdoor infrared video with another large-size POM-based protective clothing (Beijing, 7 October 2022).

Supplementary Video 7

Cloudy outdoor infrared video with another large-size POM-based protective clothing (Beijing, 9 October 2022).

Supplementary Video 8

Indoor infrared video with another large-size POM-based protective clothing (Beijing, 6 October 2022).

Source data

Source Data Fig. 1

Simulated data for the skin surface temperatures of different RC textile models.

Source Data Fig. 2

Diameter size distribution and spectral response data for POM textile.

Source Data Fig. 3

Statistical source data for thermal measurements.

Source Data Fig. 4

Statistical source data for POM-based protective clothing.

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Wu, X., Li, J., Jiang, Q. et al. An all-weather radiative human body cooling textile. Nat Sustain 6, 1446–1454 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-023-01200-x

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