A new type of ski jacket that actively ‘sweats’ moisture (that human beings have themselves sweated out during sports activity) from the inner layer of the garment to its exterior, will go on the market soon.
The new jacket will use ‘electric textiles’, a conventional battery, ‘hydro-bots,’ salt ions and 0.2g of gold per jacket to make the process work. Its inventors, Swiss companies Empa and Osmotex say the new process can shift up to 10 litres of liquid (sweat) per hour through each square metre of material.
The jacket works when an electrical voltage is applied to 20 micrometers thick membrane, causing salt ions — and with them the liquid surrounding them — to migrate through tiny pores in the membrane to the outside, from where they are attracted electrically, so to speak.
For this purpose, the membrane is equipped with a conventional battery, which can be switched on depending on weather and body activity.
“Even without current, liquid passes through the membrane. However, as soon as an electrical voltage is applied, the pumping effect increases significantly,” says Dirk Hegemann from Empa’s Advanced Fibers lab.
A prototype jacket was recently unveiled at the ISPO trade show in Munich but the membrane’s manufacturers are now working with a number of brans including Norwegian sportswear manufacturer KJUS and Swiss textile company Schoeller on various full production ski jackets that should be on sale ready for next winter. These will also integrate thermal and waterproofing layers to make the complete jacket.