Stain-shedding coating gets tough

Researchers at the Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre at Deakin University have developed a "super-hydrophobic" coating for fabrics that is both self-cleaning (principles similar to the Lotus Effect) and durable.  The acrticle includes a video clip of a water droplet splashing off the fabric as well as microphotographs of treaded and untreated fabrics.

Layers of silica nanoparticles are built up by repeatedly dipping the fabric in a solution.  By themselves, the layers would eventually wash off.  To increase durability, the nanoparticles were modified with azido groups that acted as chemical 'tails'.  Treating the coated fabric with ultraviolet light caused the tails to interlink within and across the layers.  According to Tong Lin, "This technique is simple, but allows forming an [even] coating on irregular [materials] having a complicated surface structure, and it can precisely control the coating thickness."  A similar technique has been used to add an antibacterial coating to tissue scaffolds.

The following paper requires journal access or payment for access.

Photoreactive Azido-Containing Silica Nanoparticle/Polycation Multilayers: Durable Superhydrophobic Coating on Cotton Fabrics

Yan Zhao, Zhiguang Xu, Xungai Wang, and Tong Lin*
Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre, Deakin University, Geelong VIC 3217, Australia
Langmuir, 2012, 28 (15), pp 6328–6335
DOI: 10.1021/la300281q
Publication Date (Web): April 1, 2012
Copyright © 2012 American Chemical Society


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