The new material is a kind of aerogel film which has good thermal insulation properties. It is enhanced by coating its fibers with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and a protective waterproof layer. The research was published in American Chemical Society, a scientific journal, in January.
A Beijing-based military analyst who asked for anonymity told the Global Times on Tuesday that the material can be used to paint military vehicles or be used in military clothing.
According to Zhang, to hide a hot object from heat-sensing infrared cameras was a great challenge in the past decades as everything in nature radiates infrared light.
PEG stores heat and softens when it is heated, and releases heat and hardens when it solidifies. With PEG, the new material can absorb heat from the sun and prevent the target's temperature from rising, so it can hide from infrared cameras in the day, Zhang said.
At night, the material slowly releases heat, which will make the target's temperature rise to match the surrounding environment, Zhang added.
This article was originally published in Global Times.