Outdoor heat stress can cause health hazards for workers and reduce labor productivity, thus leading to an annual burden of US $6.2 billion for the Australian workforce. Because the outdoor temperature fluctuates within a day, self-regulating textiles are urgently needed to keep the temperature of the human body stable. Smart textiles are able to sense their surrounding environment and can respond by adapting their behaviors accordingly. However, there are a number of challenges in utilizing functional materials to achieve smart thermal radiation management for outdoor comfort and energy saving without using an external power supply. Here, a smart textile with thermal radiation management is designed by combining vanadium dioxide (VO2) and silver (Ag) strips on polyester (PET). This well-designed VO2/Ag–PET exhibits high thermal management efficiency with a decrease of 13.9 °C at in-box temperature under intense radiation while remaining transparent to thermal radiation at low temperature. Moreover, the VO2/Ag–PET shows good thermoresponsive and anisotropic electrical conductivity. In addition, it maintains 95% of its performance after bending. The proposed VO2/Ag–PET textile has the potential to be used for thermal management, for wearable and flexible communication devices, and for energy saving applications.
- anisotropic electrical conductivity
- flexible devices
- smart thermal management
- thermoresponsive textiles