Colder months in the UK will soon be upon us. As this season draws nearer, you might find yourself wondering: what is a thermal blanket?
Fret not, because this article will talk about all there is to know about this handy piece of fabric! It will tackle what a thermal blanket is, its uses, and other important information.
What Is A Thermal Blanket?
If you live in a colder climate, thermal blankets might be your next best friend.
Thermal blankets are specially engineered pieces of fabric designed to keep heat trapped inside the blanket. They also meant to deflect harsh weather like wind and rain.
They manufactured plastic sheeting that is both thin, waterproof, and heat-reflective.
Some other names for this invention are emergency thermal blanket, space blanket, first aid blanket, safety blanket, heat sheet, shock blanket, and Mylar blanket.
Thermal blankets are small and lightweight. They are also easy to pack and unfurl, which is excellent for space and weight efficiency situations.
These characteristics make them easy to bring during trips outdoors and even to outer space!
What Are The Uses Of Thermal Blankets?
As mentioned previously, thermal blankets are small and very portable. This size makes them ideal for outdoor trips in colder areas.
UK experts always advise campers to have a thermal kit in their packs should they face any dangers in the wild. Aside from providing warmth, they are also reflective, making them great improvised distress beacons. Lastly, their reflective surface also helps them provide coverage from harsh sunlight.
More importantly, they are also an essential addition to first-aid kits. They are a staple to emergency response workers, forest rangers, search and rescue teams, and the like.
Thermal blankets are also commonly used in hospital settings where a person can lose body heat quickly and fatally. They help a patient retain heat more effectively. This blanket can and has saved lives.
Another name for this blanket is the space blanket. Why? Because even astronauts use this nifty blanket in the harsh and cold temperatures of space.
Additionally, scientists also use the material of thermal blankets as insulation lining for spacecraft.
Do They Work?
The short answer: yes, thermal blankets work.
The long answer: these blankets utilise the power of science and physics to ensure that heat remains where it should stay. They designed with the principles of thermodynamics in mind.
Thermal blankets are impenetrable sheets of metalised plastic. They designed to trap up to ninety per cent of your body heat in the blanket. This body heat, if not trapped, would otherwise disperse into the air.
Additionally, the airtight foil reduces heat loss caused by convection and evaporation of sweat. The reflective surface also reduces heat loss caused by thermal radiation.
These blankets prevent your body temperature from dropping without the bulk that comes with heavy and uncomfortable linens.
What Is The Difference Between A Thermal Blanket And A Non-Thermal Blanket?
Both these blankets do their job in keeping a person warm. So what`s the difference between a thermal blanket and a non-thermal blanket? Below is a list of their fundamental differences.
Thermal blankets are noticeably less bulky than traditional, non-thermal blankets. Non-thermal blankets keep a person warm through many thick layers of cloth, whereas thermal blankets do this with one thin layer of plastic.
A thermal blanket`s compactness is also very useful in emergencies where space placed at a premium.
Traditional, non-thermal blankets are heavy. They use layers upon layers of fabric to keep a person warm. These layers can add up to one heavy blanket.
While heavy blankets do keep you warm, they aren`t always the most comfortable. The lightweight characteristics of thermal blankets also make them ideal for newborns, children, and adults.
Believe it or not, thermal blankets are extremely easy to clean. Because they designed for space, emergencies, and even military operations, these blankets have to be low-maintenance to be helpful. You don`t exactly have a lot of dry cleaning options in space, after all.
Even though non-thermal blankets are more commonly associated with warm, cosy nights, thermal blankets are just as comfortable. They might seem unassuming, but they provide enough warmth to help you sleep through a cold night.
Yes, they made of plastic. But some thermal blankets look and feel like regular blankets, with the bonus of thermal warmth.
How Do You Find The Perfect Thermal Blanket?
Despite these blankets used by astronauts, they are relatively easy to find and purchase for non-space-related use.
You can find these nifty blankets online at retailers like Amazon. If you`d prefer to see and inspect the product before purchasing, you can look for them in local UK medical supplies stores.
Outdoor recreation UK stores might also have these blankets on their shelves.
So, what is a thermal blanket?
This article tackled everything you need to know about thermal blankets. These are blankets made of a unique material that is both lightweight, waterproof, and heat-reflective.
These characteristics make thermal blankets the best choice for everything — camping trips, emergencies, space exploration, and even just everyday use.
The possibilities are endless!