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Nanodiamonds used in high tech textiles for cooling 

What's New? | May 13, 2024 | By:

Pulverized nanodiamonds. Photo: Cherry Cai, RMIT University. 

Researchers from RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) are using nanodiamonds to develop high-tech textiles that can help people wearing the textile cool down faster. In the study, they coated the fabric made from cotton with nanodiamonds using electrospinning, a voltage-driven technology. As reported on, the study found that high-tech textiles with nanodiamonds can help the wearer cool down by two to three degrees Celsius compared to ordinary or untreated cotton. 

Nanodiamonds, known for their high thermal conductivity, remove and release body heat from the fabric. The researchers also found that using nanodiamonds to create high-tech textiles can increase the UV protection of the fabric, including cotton, making the technology an ideal approach to manufacturing clothing for warm and hot seasons. This can also lead to reduced air conditioning use, potentially saving around 20 or 30 percent of energy in warm or hot weather. 

Nanodiamonds, known for their high thermal conductivity, remove and release body heat from high-tech textiles. Photo: Cherry Cai, RMIT University.

Because of this, it’s also possible to explore the use of nanodiamonds in infrastructure and construction to prevent buildings from overheating, leading to environmental benefits. “While 2 or 3 degrees may not seem like much of a change, it does make a difference in comfort and health impacts over extended periods, and in practical terms, it could be the difference between keeping your air conditioner off or turning it on,”says Dr. Shadi Houshyar, project lead and senior lecturer. The technology could also be used for personal protective clothing. Underlayers to keep firefighters cool, for example, could protect them when in an active fire-fighting environment. 

Based in the Centre for Materials Innovation and Future Fashion (CMIFF), the research team is made up of RMIT engineers and textile researchers who have expertise in developing high-tech textiles. Dr. Shadi Houshyar says that nanodiamonds are not the same as the diamonds used in jewelry. They’re also much smaller in size, even if they have a carbon lattice structure, and are easy and inexpensive to make using methods like detonation or from waste materials. 

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