Nanotechnology continues to grow as an interdisciplinary technology, and many people consider it the start of a new industrial revolution. This technology deals mainly in studying materials with 1-100 nanometers in length. It is fundamentally based on the fact that some materials have properties that change drastically when the dimensions are cut down to a nanometer scale.
In recent years, the textile industry has also started to explore several possibilities with nanotechnology.
Within the textile industry, this technology can be seen as the process of understanding, controlling, and manipulating matter within lengths of 1-100 nanometers so that it is possible to alter, synthesize, and engineer the biological, chemical, and physical properties of the materials to create a new generation of improved systems, materials, structures, and devices. This technology is used for developing the desired characteristics in textile, such as unique surface structure, high tensile strength, water repellency, soft hand, fire retardancy, durability, antimicrobial properties, etc.
Applications of Nanotechnology in the Textile Industry
Nanotechnology is perceived globally as offering huge potentials across a wide range of uses. Hence it is attracting worldwide attention. According to research writers at essaywritingland service, nanomaterials’ new and unique properties make them attractive to researchers and scientists, and businesses because of the high economic potentials involved.
In the textile industry, nanotechnology has massive commercial potential because the conventional methods used for imparting different properties into fabrics don’t cause permanent effects. So these functions are lost after a period of wearing or laundering. However, nanotechnology gives fabric high durability because of the high surface-area-to-volume ratio of the nano-particles and the high surface energy. Thus, this presents an improved affinity for fabrics and leads to more durability in its function. Additionally, the nano-particles coating does not affect the hand feel or breathability of fabrics.
The increasing importance of nanotechnology in the textile industry in yarn or fiber manufacturing, including fabric finish development, has led to the expansion of the scopes and applications of textiles in recent years. For example, it is now possible to modify fabric surfaces treated with water repellant, abrasion-resistant, ultraviolet, infrared, and electromagnetic protection finishes by combining nanoparticles with inorganic and organic compounds.
For example, the textile industry has seen Titanium-dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles being used for UV protection in recent years. The fabric’s resistance to wrinkles is also improved by using nanoengineered crosslinkers during the fabric finishing processes. The textile industry also uses the newly created microencapsulation technique for fire-retardant or flame agents.
According to Assignment Masters, here are some of the most common uses of nanotechnology in the textile industry in recent years.
Production of self-cleaning textile surfaces
The textile industry uses nanotechnology to realize self-cleaning properties for textile surfaces. This offers massive potential for new products and new materials and applications for existing textile materials to be enhanced or developed.
We have already seen self-cleaning garments developed based on the self-cleaning properties of insects and plant leaves, with nature being the model. So bringing up new applications into textile will open up a new growth stage in nanotechnology. Self-cleaning textiles will boost the sales, production volumes, and application fields of technical textiles and help the market grow further.
Apart from being attractive, using a self-cleaning coating also helps to improve the environment and saves time. As long as dry cleaning is concerned, it saves time and money. However, it may require several years before self-cleaning clothes are launched into the retail market because this technology is still growing as it is still being modified.
Water repellency on fabrics
Typically, adding wax crystals within the size range of 10-3 to the typical cotton fiber creates a peach fuzz effect, which makes the fabric become water repellent. This acts as an air cushion on the surface of the fabric, but it doesn’t reduce the strength of the fabric. So when water touches the fabric, it hits the whiskers, compresses the air within the cavities in the whiskers, and creates extra resistance.
In technical terms, this renders the fabric super-hydrophobic or super-non-wettable. The whiskers also reduce the volume of dirt that comes in contact with the fabric. As water beads up and rolls down the soiled fabric surface, it also carries the dirt on the fabric with it.
Another area where nanotechnology has been crucial in the textile industry is textile finishing. This technology has brought about new application techniques and finishes to textile materials. For example, electrostatic, thermodynamic, and other technical approaches may deliver distinct nanoparticles or molecules more efficiently to designated points on textile materials following a specific trajectory or orientation.
It is possible to engineer nanoparticles to use electroplating or spray coating methods for adherence to textile substrates. When you treat fabrics with nanoparticles, it becomes easier to turn them into sensor-based materials. This makes it possible to easily monitor several body functions such as pulse and heart rhythm using a wearable fabric containing nanocrystalline piezoceramic particles.
Thanks to nanotechnology, there are now several new types of finishing for textile materials. According to superiorpapers, some of these are
- UV-protective finish on fabric
- Antibacterial finish on fabric
- Anti-static finish on textile products
- Wrinkle resistance finish on textile products
- Anti-pollen finish on textile products
- Flame retardant finish on textile products
The rise in nanomaterials for manufacturing textiles has created stain-resistant, static-free, wrinkle-free, antimicrobial, and electrically conductive textile garments. These properties are further enhanced by the fact that they don’t compromise the comfort and quality of these clothes.
However, not all nanotech-inspired textiles are the same. Some of these textiles are designed to be water-resistant, some to reduce odor, others are electronically responsive, or fire-resistant, etc. The application may differ (as well as the nanomaterial used). This proves that nanotechnology has a wide range of use in the textile industry and will only continue growing in the coming years. This list is not exhaustive. So different nanomaterials may be used to introduce several properties depending on which application is considered.