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Electric balaclava to avert chest infections in cold weather

 

Electric balaclava to avert chest infections in cold weather

 

 

Researchers have developed a smart balaclava which warms oxygen before it’s inhaled to reduce the risk of athletes contracting chest infections in winter.‎.

 

Nottingham Trent University and German advanced knitting machine manufacturer Stoll GmBH created a prototype to help runners and skiers who can be exposed to increased risk of infections when exercising in the cold.‎.

 

 

 

 

The technology centres on a knitted patch of electric-conductive yarn over the nose and mouth which emits heat when charged with an electric current.‎.

 

It is connected to a knitted power socket at the back of the balaclava which contains a plus and minus pole to connect a rechargeable cell battery.‎.

 

Electricity cannot be felt by the wearer as the current is so low.‎ But when the battery is inserted, the power comes on and the area around the nose and mouth warms up.‎.

 

Professor Tilak Dias, leader of the Advanced Textiles Research Group at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Art & Design, said: “This balaclava is the tip of the iceberg of what can be achieved through collaborative research into smart textiles.‎.

 

“By using electric-conductive yarns which are so tiny that they cannot be felt by human skin, we’re able to provide a consistent level of warmth to a piece of clothing so that a runner only breathes in warm air.‎.

 

“It’s good example of how smart textiles can be used to improve people’s lives.‎ With the application of heated textiles, we can help reduce the risk of athletes contracting illnesses related to cold weather.‎”

 

The mask is fully washable and behaves like any other fabric.‎ It features 3D-knitted pre-shape qualities for a more comfortable fit.‎ Reflective stripes are included for passive visibility.‎.

 

It is one of a number of sports garments which Stoll have created to illustrate the potential of its machines.‎.

 

As part of the collaboration, Carlos Oliveira, of the university’s Advanced Textiles Research Group, spent two weeks with Stoll in Germany working on the project.‎.

 

Joerg Hartmann, Head of Fashion & Technology at Stoll, said: “The balaclava has won the Outdoor Industry Award in Gold 2016.‎ This is the proof that the communication across disciplines, industry and research, enhances the degree of innovation.‎”

 

 

 

 

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