A team of research scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has invented a unique material that can keep items cold for as long as eight days without using any electricity or ice. The material was inspired by camel fur, as it is able to hold on moisture and longer than other similar materials, as mentioned in the report of their initial research news published.
Perhaps, the idea was inspired by camel-hair, and the researchers realized that camel-hair “Can help to reduce the loss of moisture while at the same time allowing enough sweat evaporation to provide a cooling effect”. This makes the camels to survive the extreme dry heat of the deserts and cooling their body for a longer period of time.
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Further, the team of researchers developed a similar kind of material using a two-layer design of unique materials. Where the inner layer, which is a substitute for sweat glands, is composed of the hydrogel which is, a gelatin-like substance (mainly made of water) described by the researchers, that is “contained in a sponge-like matrix from which water can easily evaporate.” While another layer covering the inner layer of aerogel which replacement for the camel’s fur. This special layer helps the material to keep out external heat thus, allowing the vapour from the inside to pass-through. This blend replicates the cooling process which the camels get by birth.
There is an endless number of application for these materials. According to the researchers it can be used for food packaging to preserve freshness during long transportation routes, enabling farmers to sell their crops at lower rates at far places. Moreover, this material might also come in useful to carry sensitive vaccine and medicines during their transportation.