Inspired by a beetle that can regulate its body temperature in even the hottest climates, researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden have developed a self-cooling material with potential applications for cooling buildings and electronics, among others.
The photonic film, which is composed of a flexible polymer called PDMS, passively cools itself, without expending energy, just like the Longicorn (or Longhorn) Beetle, which can cool itself even under volcanic temperatures.
According to its developers, the film can be used to coat objects such as windows in buildings, reflecting sunlight and reducing energy bills; solar panels, protecting them from prolonged exposure to sunlight; and even electronics.
During testing, the film reduced the temperatures of items it encased that were held in direct sunlight by roughly 5.1° C (around 9° F).
In addition to cooling buildings and electronics, the researchers believe that the film could be incorporated into the fabric of wearables and used to cool cars.
insights.globalspec.com, 16 June 2020