So maybe our parents weren’t right about everything. Because it turns out, oil and water CAN mix.
And the place they meet, is a new fleece, made by BASF, and used to make a cooling jacket or vest. Yes, this fleece keeps you cool. The magic element is an acrylate polymer that absorbs water. Dip this jacket in water, and in a few seconds, it’s absorbed ten times its weight, and is still dry on the outside. (For that, you can thank propylene, a petrochemical).
So how does that keep you cool? As you work, or run, or do any other activity in the vest, the water soaks up your body heat, and the hot water evaporates, keeping you cool inside.
BASF calls it Luquafleece – but you might call it portable air conditioning.
And if you happen to be a soccer fan, you’re following in the footsteps of our own players, as well as the national teams in countries like Ireland and Switzerland. They use vests and hats made from this material to cool off at half-time. So maybe you can’t bend it like Beckham, but you can chill it just the same.