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Underfoot insulation using nanotech


December 20, 2005

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December 21, 2005 The human body needs warmth and the areas in which we feel the cold first are naturally enough those which are at the extremities – hands and feet. The feet are particularly vulnerable in arctic climates as they are continually in contact with very cold surfaces. Accordingly, the advanced nanotech underfoot insulation offered by ToastyFeet insole liners from Polar Wrap. Most insulation requires loft but when you step on it, it gets compressed and loses its loft and therefore its insulating power. Aerogel doesn't require loft as it 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 but you can get it now and keep your feet toasty warm. We've written about numerous applications for aerogel technology including a translucent roofing system and about the origination of the world's lightest solid.

British researchers recently found 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.

Polar Wrap focuses on products providing cold weather comfort. Its other products include the Heat Exchange Mask that traps warmth from exhaling breaths in order to warm cold air as it is inhaled.

Aspen Aerogels supplies nanotechnology-enabled aerogels with insulating properties that outperform traditional materials. Unlike other aerogel material providers, Aspen provides the thermal and acoustic performance of aerogels in a ready-to-use blanket impregnated with the silica nanostructures. This blanket format makes it easy for Aspen customers to conserve energy and save money in oil and gas recovery, LNG shipping and storage, apparel, military, aerospace and energy industries. In addition, Aspen is actively developing applications in the building/construction, automotive and fuel cell markets.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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