Near-IR Thermal Management Fabrics

A photo of the Near-IR Thermal Management Fabrics working on their project

Sponsor: FilSpec

Team Members: Sam Anderson, Patrick Hughes, Maddy Moncla

Project Description: The goal of this project was to develop an athletic garment which utilizes evaporative cooling in order to keep the wearer feeling both cool and dry. Heat related deaths are one of the deadliest and most common weather-related health problems in the United States, and cooling garments aim to mitigate this problem. Partnered with Canadian yarn manufacturer FilSpec, we were provided with Warmfil; a heat-generating, hollow core yarn. Warmfil will work to drive the conversion of sweat from sensible to latent heat through sweat evaporation. This, ideally, would yield a garment that keeps the user feeling cool and dry, perfect for thermal management, in both typical daily activity, as well as high performance athletic applications.

The team followed the product design and development process, starting with scientific research and ideation. Benchmark and competitor products were then identified and tested based on the metrics determined to be critical to the success of our project, such as total heat loss, drying rate, and air permeability. We then proceeded to create several different prototype designs with varying yarn blends, layer orientations, and knit structures. Using a design of experiments, we tested our initial prototypes to select a single design to proceed forward with. The final product is a dual-layer knit design that utilizes Warmfil and other yarns to wick sweat away from the skin and evaporate moisture.