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Beyond stain-resistant: New fabric coating actively shrugs off gunk

Date:
April 25, 2012
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are reporting development and successful testing of a fabric coating that would give new meaning to the phrase "stain-resistant" -- a coating that would take an active role in sloughing off grease, dirt, strong acids and other gunk. The report shows that the coating is even more water-repellent than car wax or Teflon.

Scientists are reporting development and successful testing of a fabric coating that would give new meaning to the phrase "stain-resistant" -- a coating that would take an active role in sloughing off grease, dirt, strong acids and other gunk. The report, which shows that the coating is even more water-repellent than car wax or Teflon, appears in ACS' journal Langmuir.

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Tong Lin and colleagues explain that a method called "layer-by-layer" (LbL) self-assembly produces films and coatings for sensors, drug-delivery devices and many other products. LbL involves setting down alternate layers of positively and negatively charged materials that are held together by electric charges. With this approach, coatings can be custom-designed for specific applications by selecting the composition of each layer. The downside: These multilayer films are not very stable and eventually come apart. Lin and colleagues wanted to develop a way to stabilize those layers with UV light to form a "superhydrophobic" coating, one that uses natural surface forces to highly repel water and other materials.

Laboratory tests showed that the new coating, applied to cotton fabric, repelled water, acids, bases and organic solvents. The coating also was durable, remaining intact on the cotton fabric after 50 trips through a home washing machine. When the researchers applied several layers of the coating on the fabric, the contact angle (a measure of water-repellence) was about 154 degrees, making it even more repellent than car wax (90-degree contact angle), Teflon (95-degree contact angle) or products that repel rainwater from car windshields (110-degree contact angle).


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The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yan Zhao, Zhiguang Xu, Xungai Wang, Tong Lin. Photoreactive Azido-Containing Silica Nanoparticle/Polycation Multilayers: Durable Superhydrophobic Coating on Cotton Fabrics. Langmuir, 2012; 28 (15): 6328 DOI: 10.1021/la300281q

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Beyond stain-resistant: New fabric coating actively shrugs off gunk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140407.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2012, April 25). Beyond stain-resistant: New fabric coating actively shrugs off gunk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140407.htm
American Chemical Society. "Beyond stain-resistant: New fabric coating actively shrugs off gunk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140407.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

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