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Researchers from RMIT University have published a new study detailing the use of nanodiamonds to create ‘smart textiles’. | Source: RMIT University
Researchers from RMIT University have published a new study detailing the use of nanodiamonds to create ‘smart textiles’. | Source: RMIT University

Diamond clothing: Wave of the future?

Researchers from RMIT University have published a new study detailing the use of nanodiamonds to create ‘smart textiles’.

The study found fabric made from cotton coated with nanodiamonds using a process called ‘electrospinning’ produced a reduction of between two and three degrees during cooling when compared with untreated cotton.

The research indicated that nanodiamonds reduce body temperature by releasing it from the fabric due to thermal conductivity.

The study also suggested nanodiamonds increase the UV protection of cotton, which means these smart textiles may be ideal for outdoor clothing.

RMIT senior lecturer Dr Shadi Houshyar said this insight offers an opportunity to produce new sportswear and protective clothing. 

Dr Aisha Rehman, RMIT University Research Assistant
Dr Aisha Rehman, RMIT University Research Assistant
"Because nanodiamonds are such good thermal conductors, it does it faster than untreated fabric."
Dr Aisha Rehman, RMIT University

“While two or three 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, could be the difference between keeping your air conditioner off or turning it on,” she said.

“There’s also potential to explore how nanodiamonds can be used to protect buildings from overheating, which can lead to environmental benefits.”

Research assistant Dr Aisha Rehman said the coating with nanodiamonds was deliberately applied to only one side of the fabric to restrict heat in the atmosphere from transferring back to the body. 

“The side of the fabric with the nanodiamond coating is what touches the skin. The nanodiamonds then transfer heat from the body into the air,” she said.

“Because nanodiamonds are such good thermal conductors, it does it faster than untreated fabric.”

The report - ‘Immobilization of nanodiamonds onto cotton fabric through polyurethane nanofibrous coatings for summer clothing’ -  was created by the Centre for Materials Innovation and Future Fashion.

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