Nanotechnology in Fabrics
How can nanotechnology improve fabrics?
Making composite fabric with nano-sized particles or fibers allows improvement of fabric properties without a significant increase in weight, thickness, or stiffness as might have been the case with previously-used techniques. For example incorporating nano-whiskers into fabric used to make pants produces a lightweight water and stain repellent material.
Fabrics: Current Nanotechnology Applications
- Nanowhiskers that cause water to bead up, making the fabric water and stain resistant.
- Silver nanoparticles in fabric that kills bacteria making clothing odor- resistant.
- Nanopores providing superior insulation for shoe inserts in cold weather.
- Nanoparticles that provide a "lotus plant" effect for fabric used awnings and other material left out in the weather, causing dirt to rinse off in the rain.
Fabrics: Nanotechnology Applications under Development
Researchers at NTU Singapore are using nanowires to develope flexible capacitors for use in fabric.
Battery created by coating a fabric with nanoparticles
Solar cell fabric using Konarka’s Power FiberTM
Clothing protective against hazardous chemicals using an honeycomb of polyurethane nanofibers.
Piezoelectric fibers that could allow clothing to generate electricity through normal motions.
Form fitting clothing made using fabric composed of proteins, this material may stretch as much as 1500 percent from it's original size.
Fabrics: Nanotechnology Company Directory
|Nano-tex||Fabric enhanced with nanowhiskers||Water and stain resistant|
|Aspen Aerogel||Fabric enhanced with nanopores||Insulates against heat or chill|
|BASF||Fabric enhanced with nanoparticles (Mincor® TX TT)||Dirt rinses off in rain, similar to property of the lotus plant|
|NanoHorizons||Fabric enhanced with silver nanoparticles||Reduces odors|
Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory at Cornel University