Swiss speciality textile effects company HeiQ has launched a new radiant barrier technology on high performance fabrics that allows outerwear to offer high levels of warmth while reducing bulk by as much as 50%.
Developed in partnership with Australian textile technology company Xefco, a partner of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Deakin University, HeiQ XReflex retains warmth by reflecting heat loss back to the body.
Humans lose about 60% of body heat through thermal radiation, and in order to stay warm, insulations made out of down, synthetic or fleece are typically used in outerwear. The thicker the insulation, the less heat loss and the warmer the wearer, explains HeiQ. However, most active individuals want warmth from their outerwear and mid-layers but without bulk.
This is where HeiQ XReflex comes in. With an ultra-thin reflective surface applied through a high-tech vapour deposition process, HeiQ XReflex reflects the body’s radiant heat, increasing the thermal resistance and allowing maximum breathability.
By using one layer of HeiQ XReflex, a saving of 25% in bulk can be expected, the firm claims, adding that with two layers, the bulk can be reduced by up to 50% while maintaining the same level of thermal resistance. According to HeiQ, one insulated jacket will save 6 litres water, 280g CO2 and 10MJ of energy.
“Warmth without bulk is the best of both worlds for the active consumer,” says Christian von Uthmann, chief sales officer at HeiQ Materials AG. “This technology reduces insulation bulk to create thin, lightweight, breathable product which in turn consumes fewer raw materials for more sustainable products.”