Electrotextile Based Intelligent Hand Warmer
Small Business Information
303 Bear Hill Road, Waltham, MA, 02451
AbstractDuring cold weather operations tasks requiring manual dexterity can become significantly more difficult as the drop in temperature causes capillaries in the fingers to rapidly contract, decreasing skin blood flow and leading to stiff, sore fingers. IST addressed this issue in Phase I by developing an intelligent electrically heated fingerless glove, specifically designed to keep the fingers both unencumbered and warm. This system contains a network of heating elements made from highly flexible electrotextile materials. The path that these elements took within the glove was chosen to maximize the efficient transfer of heat to the hand. This allowed those regions of the fingers that are critical to performing manual tasks to be left uncovered. By using electrotextile materials for the bus bar and heating elements rather than conventional wires IST was able to significantly improve system comfort and flexibility. The heating system is controlled by a flexible power supply that is able to maximize user comfort and minimize power usage by regulating its output based on the temperature within the glove. The end result was a lightweight glove that keeps the wearer’s fingers warm and dexterous even when working in sub-freezing conditions for extended periods of time.
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