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Thread: Miracle Cloth

  1. #1 Miracle Cloth 
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    So like this:
    Air Air Air Air Air Air
    ----------------------Vinyl
    ============Conductive fabric
    ---------------------Thin Vinyl
    ============Conductive fabric (tinfoil or goldleaf?? Those would break...)
    ---------------------Vinyl
    ++++++++++++Cotton (to protect chafing, is comfortable, unnecessary)
    Skin skin skin skin skin

    Here's the cool part: With a power source applied in a certain way, the two conductive sheets would accumulate a like charge and separate. Perhaps they are collectively one end of a capacitor (they are both one single sheet folded over onto itself?), with the other charge grounded.
    With enough strength in separation, they create a vacuum between them, which insulates thermal energy perfectly.
    You in effect have a jacket with a functional on/off switch you can use for camping in Siberia, and then take a hike in the Sahara, because the conductive fabrics (especially if they are somewhat thick metal sheets) will conduct heat away from the body if the jacket is off. And it's lightweight and thin. No nanotechnological BS.
    The power source could be static itself. Some way of isolating charges in the fabric with diodes to the on/off button (which is a capacitor, not a battery), and it charges as you walk.
    Would this work? It seems novel to me.


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  3. #2  
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    Interesting, but foil is not thick enough to hold out against a vacuum. It would collapse, and their goes you're vacuum. It's like trying to make a vacuum bottle using a plastic bag: it just collapses.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    Interesting, but foil is not thick enough to hold out against a vacuum.
    What do you mean? He wants to use electricity to keep them separated.
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  5. #4  
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    You would need to engineer it very carefully in order to prevent the foil from ripping. Also, the amount of charge would be large in order to sustain the vacuum. Goimg back to the first point, you wouldn't be able to move.
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  6. #5  
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    I think you would need to charge your suit up with some kind of Van de Graaf generator, and then it would want to discharge to ground. You couldn't find a good enough insulator. I don't think it would work as you want it to. There is nothing to keep the electrical charges from traveling horizontally along the plate, so if a force is applied at one point on the suit, forcing the two plates together, the charge could just travel to another area where the plates are farther apart, allowing contact at that point.
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  7. #6  
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    Hmm... The charge would remain equally distributed over the foil. If it wasn't, it would still distribute itself to remain in equilibrium. That same effect is what creates electric current in the first place: Charges filling each other up.
    The conductive material isn't necessarily tinfoil or goldleaf, though I think that would be effective but weak. Just something flexible, planar and conductive.
    Maybe you could reinforce gold leaf somehow.
    Hopefully I can hit two birds with one stone by saying that it is a small but sufficient charge, so it doesn't explode or puff up like a balloon, and it doesn't tear the "foil". Just strong enough to create a small vacuum.
    There is such thing as a perfect insulator. Air is not an example. Like n-type silicon, or the opposite side of a diode. So I'm sure there is some synthetic material that insulates electricity perfectly.
    I'm not sure about these solutions, of course, but I'm still confident.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Try and build it. It could be made with regular materials... it might be a little challenging, but possible. :-D
    I still think that moving would make to many inequalities of charge and cause the "foil" to collapse of rip.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pomegranate Cameron
    Hmm... The charge would remain equally distributed over the foil. If it wasn't, it would still distribute itself to remain in equilibrium.
    Think about what happens with a gold leaf electroscope charged by induction.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro..._electroscopes
    You bring a charged rod near the electrod and this forces charge down onto the gold leaves. The two metal leaves are forced apart but remain joined at one point. There are no great forces causing the leaves to be separated at their point of contact. When the charged rod is moved away, the leaves fall by gravity, forcing the charge back up to the electrode. So this should tell you that the charge will move around due to forces on the plates, and there is nothing to prevent the plates contacting each other.
    There is such thing as a perfect insulator.
    Nope. See article on dielectric strength.
    http://www.tf.uni-kiel.de/matwis/ama...ne/r3_5_1.html
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  10. #9  
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    I guess you're right on both counts.
    But I would think there's at least one insulator that will insulate a charge of this strength, right? A couple folds of saran wrap? Or am I way off...?
    What if the suit was made of linked plates instead of foil (still somewhat thin plates, but rigid), and the power source (I agree with the Van De Graaf suggestion... what if the cotton could be folded into a generator?) led to each plate in parallel via wires in the vinyl or cotton, and was kept in the plate with a diode just before the wire touched the plate, so that there wasn't much room for the charge to fluxuate in? That would help somewhat.
    I have layered some cotton, vinyl and tinfoil together before, to see how insulative it already was... I could roll up some cotton or wool and make a crude static generator... But I don't have a vacuum pump, or any way to seal the layers so that I know for sure they are pushing apart enough to make a vacuum. Unless I drip melted candle wax on the edges of the layers after pressing them flat.
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  11. #10  
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    Was it insulative? Also, if it were made out of small (very small) interlocked plates of gold, tin or another insulator? It would be hard to vacuum proof it, but if you had a very thin plastic covering, you could layer it on top to seal the vacuum in. It would be really hard to make, but if you were mass producing, why not? Also, a static generator would be interesting if made out of lightweight clothing materials, but would it produce enough static. If you could harness the motion of the person in some way, it would be a lot easier to carry. But if the person stopped, the insulation is screwed. Hmmm. Approve or disaprove?
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  12. #11  
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    I was under the assumption that the plates retained their charge, when insulated, and thus the vacuum required no energy to sustain.
    Perhaps static generators in places with high friction, like the groin and armpits.
    Or... you could use seebeck thermoelectric generators to develop a potential with the energy from body heat, contrasting with energy from the atmosphere. At least, that would be easier than alcohol-based "steam" engines, like those hand boilers, or stirling engines.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect
    But those generate very low temperature, some at 41 microvolts per kelvin temperature difference, says wikipedia. But on a cold day, contrasted with ~98.6 degrees f, it might be kind of useful. If not, shoulder/back/hip mounted hand boilers, I guess (that would look awesome in steampunk scifi). You could turn the whole suit into one big generator with coatings of semiconductors on the inside and outside, which is how those seebeck things work, if I understand.
    What if you used both polarities, for max efficiency, in a checkerboard pattern? They wouldn't slide off and attract if they were sewn in place, together. Two checkerboards of + and - charge, layered over an identical checkerboard, would repel. Charges kept in place, again, with diodes, separating the checker squares. Or transistors for the necessary off/on switch. This way you could get double efficiency from your power source.
    I like how much progress in revision this idea has made. Thanks.
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  13. #12  
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    I think you would need a lot of insulation.
    Also, now that I think about it, it might be too hard to collect charge from the statc generators. I like the personal heaters/thermoelectric better.
    The checkerboard is interesting. Would you still use foil?
    I wonder if there are flexible thermoelectric materials, or even semi conductor thread? Then you could possibly make the cloth entirely out of thermoelectric generators. If you could keep the charges insulated, then you would have a temperature responsive fabric- as the temperature difference increases, the heat increases, because the more charge is generated and therefore running along the fabric. You would also have to find a way, however, to make sure rises in human temp doesn't make the fabric hat up, initiating a chain effect that ends up cooking the person, to make sure the thermoelectric fabric reads the human side as a comfortable 70o. Does that defeat the purpose?
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  14. #13  
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    I doubt that you can cook a person with their own body heat, thanks to conservation of energy. The face also releases a lot of heat, and it will be exposed somewhat. If not, you could have rabbit fur flaps for the nose and mouth in extreme cold.
    As for insulating the charge, diodes (heavy duty, if necessary) on one side and a vacuum on the other seems like it would work well for stopping current. If not, mylar and saran wrap and other hydrocarbon-based synthetic fabrics will. Mylar also is the fabric used in emergency blankets.
    On static, I agree, no way that the cotton will generate it all, so thermoelectric it is.
    As for the checkerboard... It does sound like a good solution to me. Using both charges efficiently is necessary without a readily available power source, and making it even harder for charges to flux. It would indeed use foil.
    Unless as the semiconductors (here in fabric form) built up a charge, they repel without the use of a conductor...
    I thought about making it out of the thermoelectric materials, but then the suit would have no off switch. And once the vacuum was created, there would be no influx of cool air to sustain the current. Which is okay, because once the vacuum is created, there is no need for current. And in a warm environment, the current would be weaker, and sustain a vacuum less, so it insulates less heat, which is good on a summer day... Maybe that's not a bad idea at all. It might eliminate the need for a conductor that won't rip.
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  15. #14  
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    A combination of the thermoelectric fabric and the checkerboard might be good- the thermoelectric idea I presented would probably be really inefficient, which wouldn't be too much of a problem, but I think lower grade thermoelectric materials can be easily procured than higher grades.
    You could make lots of money if this is practical and works :-D.
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  16. #15  
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    Agreed. But perhaps instead of the thermoelectrics separating the vacuum, perhaps they could serve as the inside layer, and power two adjacent checkers with the body heat flowing outwards, and stop producing current when the vacuum is created. Also diodes and transistors on each thermoelectric tile for warm weather on/off.
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  17. #16  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Like this?:

    skin--------------------------------
    thermoelectric-------------------- on/off
    powerchecker1 * powerchecker2 -
    diodes********************** -
    vacuum somwhere between checker and thermoelectric?
    Im not quite sure.
    sorry.
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  18. #17  
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    Ermm... No, the vacuum is between the two checkerboards. It's hard to explain. I tried to illustrate it below, but it's confusing, so use the illustration if this doesn't work: The two checkerboards, one on top of the other so that they repel, are made of a pattern of a + and - checker, connected to one power source, the thermoelectric. These pairs of 2 checkers repeat in a pattern that makes the checkerboard. Between the pair is the power source for both of them, the thermoelectric. This charges them when its current can flow past its wires into the 2 checkers. Its current can only flow when the suit is turned on. It is activated via a net of transistors connected in parallel to a piezoelectric button on the suit.

    Air Air Air
    ^|i|iV ^|i|iV ^|i|iV
    Checkerboard: +++ --- +++ --- +++ --- etc
    +++ --- +++ --- +++ --- etc
    V|i|iY^ V|i|iY^ V|i|iY^
    skin skin skin skin skin
    *|i|i denotes thermoelectric generator or power source
    *^ or V denotes diode, to store and retain charge in the checkers
    *Y denotes transistor.
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  19. #18  
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    Oops... the illustration got messed up.
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  20. #19  
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    Ohh. It makes sense now. The thermoelectric generators would generate current only, not really be the force that keeps the vacuum open. I think it night be better that way. However, you would need two different semi-conductors in order to get the thermoelectric generators to work. What if you placed them at long intervals or many small ones in between the two checkerboards? Then you would not have to have any extra semiconductors in your generators, reducing weight. The great thing I noticed about your design is that it would still retain smart fabric properties.
    What would be the thickness of the vacuum.
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  21. #20  
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    I have no idea about the thickness of the vacuum... But it would be small, considering that as soon as it was sufficient to block heat, it would stop expanding.
    I think that the thermoelectric generators would be the size of the two checkers they fed into, and flexible. They need to be as big as possible to get as much energy from the escaping heat as possible.
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  22. #21  
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    All you need now is a patent. :-D
    If you draw up any specific blueprints (assuming you haven't already), send them to me at e.ulian1@gmail.com. Id love to see final plans. They're also a lot better than astericks.
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