Teijin has jointly developed a new fan-cooled jacket incorporating a two-layer pressure-controlled cooling structure together with Makita Corporation, a leading Japanese manufacturer of electric power tools.
The pressure-controlled fan jacket has a unique cooling structure that allows air to enter through the jacket’s outer shell and inner lining in both the front and back of the jacket, the company explains. The design prevents fabric from bundling up inside the jacket to allow the user to work unencumbered. The air is discharged on a pressure-regulated basis through openings mainly in the neck, underarms and chest, where blood circulation is particularly active, for enhanced cooling effect.
The zippered arms and neck can be removed to enable the fan jacket to be used as a fan-cooled vest. Different combinations of Teijin high-performance fibres are available to make the jacket waterproof, stretchable and antistatic according to customer needs.
The fan unit designed by Makita measures just 39.5mm thick, which is 5.5mm thinner than conventional units. The battery can be recharged with the same charging device available for other Makita cordless electric-power tools.
Demand for fan jackets
Since the revision of Japan’s Industrial Safety and Health Law in December 2015, Japanese companies have been working to upgrade their work environments for employees. Factors including global warming and La Nina have intensified the need for urgent solutions to ease conditions for people working in intense heat. Reflecting this intensifying need, the market demand for fan jackets has been rising since 2014.
So far, conventional fan jackets have involved fastening collar, cuffs and underwaist to let the air taken from outside circulate in jackets, which leads to fabric bundling and thus less freedom of movement. The new pressure-controlled fan jacket was developed by combining Teijin’s expertise in high-performance materials that feature superior cooling and absorption properties and Makita’s expertise in specialty fans and battery systems.
Sales of the new fan jacket will start from mid-April 2018 through Makita’s existing marketing channels and be expanded by developing new channels with Teijin’s group companies and marketing partners.
The first customer realised through one of Teijin’s marketing channel is Mitsui O.S.K. KINKAI, a group company of a Japanese major multi-model transport group Mitsui O.S.K Lines. The fan jackets will be used on a test basis by crewmembers working on ships in high-heat climates of the Middle East.
Going forward, Teijin says it will continue developing advanced fabrics and related solutions, including innovative, value-added clothing with wearable-sensing functions.