Super-absorbent Film that Converts Sweat to Power
Sweating or perspiration is a natural process that helps the body regulate its temperature. It is normally experienced when your body starts to heat up. Perspiration in the shoes could cause calluses, fungal infections, and blisters. Therefore, in order to keep us cool and comfortable while exercising, a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed this moisture-absorbing film that can also be used to power small wearable devices. Since the developed novel film is very effective in evaporating sweat from our skin, it helps in preventing its accumulation and personal discomfort. Then, the moisture absorbed from human sweat could be used to power wearable electronic devices.
This newly created super-absorbent film takes in 15 times more moisture and does it 6 times faster than conventional hygroscopic materials. Additionally, it has a feature that indicates the degree of moisture absorption by changing its color – from blue to purple, then to pink. Two hygroscopic chemicals – cobalt chloride and ethanolamine – are the key components of the novel thin film.
Aside from its main function which is to absorb, when it is exposed to sunlight, the film releases the water it has absorbed. Thus, makes it possible for it to be reused and regenerated for more than a hundred times. Furthermore, the prototype created for the shoe insole was 3D printed. Its material was a combination of soft and hard polymers in order to provide enough support and shock absorption. The research team now desires to have their creation be incorporated into consumer products.
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