Looking Beyond The Horizon

Innovative Technologies & Services

Nano-clothing – Could this be a commercially viable choice anytime soon?

Posted by evolvingwheel on October 10, 2007

Popular Science posted an article about a nanoparticle coated jacket that wards off viruses. Researchers from Cornell have sprinkled the upper cotton layer with silver nanoparticles that deflect bacteria and viruses. Further, palladium nanoparticles sprayed on the neck and upper parts of the jacket acts to breakdown pollutants. This functional clothing does a little bit more than just making one look cool. Read the [article] here.

In the latest trend in nanotextiles, nano-metallic particles are sprayed on the fabric to perform numerous tasks – keeping bigger dirt particles and bad stains off. However, there are some difficulties in creating such cool dresses. A considerable degree of precision is required in spraying nanoparticles evenly across the whole length of the fabric. It is extremely difficult to maintain such a level of accuracy in such a small scale of length. On the other hand, the silver and gold particles are not cost effective for mass production and cheap commercial acceptance. Some of the business aspects that should be considered to make this innovation a household word are:

  1. Commercial entry of high-end devices those are capable of mass-producing nano material layers fast and cheap.
  2. Investing effectively in R&D for finding nanoparticles that are more cost effective than metals like gold and silver.
  3. Create awareness in the community about the strength and efficacy of nanosprayed clothing in defeating daily infections.
  4. Consider the negative effect of nano particles when infused into the eco-system – by disposal, factory run-off, and/or recycling.

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2 Responses to “Nano-clothing – Could this be a commercially viable choice anytime soon?”

  1. patro7 said

    Silver is actually already being used to a small degree – but for antimicrobial and olfactory purposes. There are a couple of cool self-assembly techniques that could be utilized to achieve a greater degree of uniformity (and also simplify the process). But I agree that scalability is going to be an issue — we have a LOT of research $ being spent on nanotechnology but not a lot of money (it seems) spent on processing and manufacturing.

    Cool site, insightful blogs…

    Check out http://www.interactive-textiles.com

  2. I think self-assembly will be a very interesting avenue for nano based developments in the coming years. You may check out Zyvex corp. Not sure to what extent they are developing manufacturing capabilities for nanotech materials. But would be exciting to know more. I do agree with you that manufacturing and processing deserves more investments. An then the recyclability too.. its runoff to the ecosystem. How do we balance that?

    Thanks for stopping by. I also checked out the interactive textiles site. Looks very informative.. just ended up putting it into my favs.

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