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Supield attains $100,000 mark on Kickstarter
Supield, creator of the thin and warm jacket line, S Kistler, has attained the figure of $100,000 on Kickstarter. The Supield team has decided to add a new aerogel insulated jacket and aerogel insulated gloves for backers to its existing offering - both made by the material inspired by the NASA spacesuits. Supield is headquartered in Shanghai, China.
“Aerogel is traditionally used in manufacturing and aerospace and there are only a few companies in the world focusing on applying it on daily clothing,” said Jie Yan, founder and CEO of Supield. “Upholding the vision to be the most innovative start-up company in the high-tech fabric industry, we are democratising the use of aerogel to making it available in people’s wardrobes. We have developed aerogel materials in different thickness and world’s first single-layer aerogel composite to meet all kinds of consumer needs.”
Supield’s aerogel story started in 2012 when Dr. Lu Haiming was studying his PhD at Imperial College in London. Haiming was impressed by the aerogel material, which is the lightest solid on earth, and its low thermal conductivity feature. Having learned that NASA made aerogel spacesuits to cope with the harsh conditions in the space, Haiming and the Supield team started the ideation process to bring this “material of space era” to daily use — perfect insulation to make the heavy, puffy and boxy winter jacket warm, thin and light.
The research and development process lasted for three full years and was filled with barriers. To start, the texture of aerogel material was quite tough, therefore, traditionally aerogel powder was used. However aerogel powder would fall off from the fabric through time and the thermal insulation function will deteriorate. To address this challenge, the team introduced a polymer material as a substrate to wrap the aerogel powder to soften the texture and prevent the powder from falling off. In addition, the team took an innovative approach to make the material more breathable. The team made very fine holes on the material — when the body sweats, the air pressure in the clothing will be greater than the external air pressure, and the moisture will be discharged.
To cater for various use cases, the Supield team has developed jackets with aerogels in four levels of thickness. The Kistler Series 3 uses 0.5 mm aerogel insulation and weighs less than one pound, which is best for casual wear and outdoor activities in cold weather. The warmest, thickest version of the jacket, the Kistler Series 7, has a 3mm aerogel insulation layer, however with reasonable weight of 1.5kg — 50 per cent lighter than the leading aerogel jacket on the market. Series 7 can keep users warm in the ultra cold condition up to -320°. In between, the Kistler Series 5 with 2mm aerogel insulation is the best option for people who are looking for a warm, hooded jacket for ski, a winter hike and any outdoor activities in cold weather. In addition, the team introduced Series R, the first single-layer aerogel composite jacket in the world, which gives apparel companies a new alternative to design sleek, fashionable outerwear. (SV)