Scientists in Australia have come up with a new design of vest for soldiers and emergency workers that will keep them cool while working in hot conditions or wearing layers of protective clothing.

Nuclear, biological, chemical and other protective uniforms all prevent the body from cooling itself naturally through perspiration, but the new vest pipes body heat through vapour filled cavities into the atmosphere aided by an evaporative cooling heat exchanger.

Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) claim that the new style vest acts in a similar way to a fridge but uses the vaporised body heat as a coolant. They also claim that it will enable wearers to work up to four times longer in temperatures above 35C.