Scientists have developed new plastic films that are calm when exposed to sunlight and lightweight, bendable and strong. The flexible materials are present in various colors and incorporated into wearable and architectural products to control the temperatures of people and buildings instead of any power.
Svetlana Boriskina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA and the head of research team developing the materials claimed that “Materials used for wearable technologies and architecture applications require simultaneous control of multiple properties to combine visual appeal with thermal comfort”. “We accomplished this challenging balance by creating the first plastic-based flexible material. That combines various optical properties with passive thermal regulation via both conduction and radiation.”
In the journal of the optical society, Optical Materials Express, scientists describing how the new films are created by manufacturing the properties of usually used. And cost-effective plastic polyethylene and add the color using pigments and nanoparticles. The subsequent compound films that are durable and flexible and provide various combinations of mechanical, thermal and optical properties.
Moreover, in staying cool on exposing to sunlight, where new materials can be manufactured for trapping heat. That can be utilized in making warm clothes or produce camouflage for hiding a vehicle. Or a person from the camera of night vision by covering the heat generated.
Boriskina commented, “The materials and processes we used to make these composite films are already commercially available. It could likely be used for inexpensive high-throughput fabrication of the films on large scales”. “The films have a host of potential applications, including being used as substrates. Overcoats for thin-film solar cells and other flexible electronic devices and for a variety of wearable devices and garments.
Broadening Plastic Films
Classically, the temperature and color control properties of materials are enhanced distinctly for various applications. To change these properties continuously, researchers started with films produced by ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. On extending the films physically to various degrees, researchers discovered. That they can change the optical, thermal and mechanical properties of materials.
Boriskina claimed “Stretching the film forces the polymer chains in plastic to align in one direction parallel to each other. Which is very different than what is seen in typical plastics”. “We demonstrated that this stretching gives the plastic new and useful properties. It includes ultra-high thermal conductivity, increased broadband transparency, reduced haze, raised melting temperature and high tensile strength.”
On adding the additional and color optical properties to films where scientists entrenched several nanoparticles in polymer earlier to the stretching of the material.
On using the procedure, it is probable to construct the compound that is not getting hot in sunlight by utilizing nanoparticles absorbing visible light and do not engage the infrared solar heat. By using the particles that effectively scatter the infrared light, in addition, will make the material trapping heat.
Films with enhanced haze parameters that can be used as transparent overcoats on thin-film solar cells to augment the light absorption on decreasing the temperature of solar cells and improve efficacy.
Scientists have created various sample films and verified them by using the artificial sunlight from the solar simulator in lab. On utilizing the infrared camera imaging, scientists have observed the spreading of heat laterally with the sample lightened by a laser beam. Moreover, this type of heat dispersion assists in decreasing the temperature of an irradiated hot spot. And advertise cooling due to the heat traveling to areas of the material surface not irradiated by light.