US Firm Uses Nano to Improve the Thermal Insulation of Socks

 
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:56 am    Post subject: US Firm Uses Nano to Improve the Thermal Insulation of Socks Reply with quote

US Company Uses Nanometer-Sized Air Pockets to Improve the Thermal Insulation of Socks and Solve the Problem of Cold Feet

Forget heavy socks this winter, ToastyFeet™ insole liners have just been introduced by Polar Wrap.

“Most people don’t realize it, but beyond heavy socks, there is no real underfoot insulation for cold feet,” said Bruce McCormick, president of Polar Wrap, the company that created the insole liners using patented nanotechnology from Aspen Aerogels.

In fact, ToastyFeet™ just might protect you from cold symptoms.

As reported by Reuters on November 14th, British researchers claimed that exposing bare feet to cold water for 20 minutes increases a person’s chance of getting cold symptoms. The researchers said that cold feet causes a constriction to blood vessels in the nose which can aid the cold virus, according to Reuters.

“It’s clear that to keep from getting a cold, you need to keep your feet warm,” said McCormick. “In the winter, it often feels like you’re standing on ice. That’s because the soles of your shoes or boots are where your feet need to be protected from the cold the most.”

But why isn’t your footwear keeping out all of the cold?

”Because most insulation requires loft - like the loft in a cotton ball or fiberglass house insulation,” said Marc Lebel, vice president of Aspen Aerogels, “but when you step on it, it gets compressed and loses its loft and therefore its insulating power.”

But Aspen Aerogels’ insulation doesn’t require loft. Its structure contains nanometer-sized pockets of air that can maintain thermal protection and shape even when you step on it. In partnership with NASA, this same flexible aerogel technology is being developed for next generation space suits.

“We are delighted to put an end to cold feet with this new, space-age technology,” said McCormick. Recently the company tested its product by having people step on a block of dry ice with only the Toasty Feet™ insole as a barrier. “No one felt any cold,” reported McCormick.

Toasty Feet™ is available now at Wal Mart and Kroger stores across the country.

Source: Aspen Aerogels.

URL: http://www.aerogel.com/

This story was posted on 23 December 2005.
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