MIT is developing a wetsuit for special forces fighters for survival in cold water

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<pre>MIT is developing a wetsuit for special forces fighters for survival in cold water

The command of the elite unit of US Navy swimmers appealed to the researchers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop a special wetsuit that would ensure the ability to survive in cold water for a long time without compromising mobility. Two years later, a solution was found.

In nature, animals for protection against cold use one of three natural forms of protection. Thus, large white sharks are able to generate internal heat, while nature penguins provide air pockets that perform the function of a heat-insulating layer. Finally, some animals are covered with a layer of natural insulation, for example, as seals – with fur and a layer of subcutaneous fat.

Most of the wetsuits use the last two of the above protection types. As a material, synthetic neoprene rubber is used, resembling dense foam with a lot of small air pockets that keep the body warm inside the suit.

MIT researchers have perfected this scheme by replacing the air in their pockets with a heavy inert gas (xenon or krypton), which further impedes heat transfer. As a result, if before the suit sufficed for less than one hour of work in water at +10 ° C, now the time threshold has increased to two or three hours.

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