Nanotechnology applications in textile industry

Nanotechnology In Textiles

Nanotech1O ver the last 15 years, the word "nanotechnology" has become ubiquitous not only in the vocabulary of scientists and engineers, but in the common vernacular as well. However, to many, it is unclear exactly how to define nanotechnology. Therefore, before the topic of nanotechnology in textiles can be broached, a working definition must first be established. Nanotechnology in textiles has been around since human beings began dyeing fibers and fabrics to impart color, which dates back to 2600 BC in China, as noted by Susan C. Druding in a seminar presented at Convergence 1982 in Seattle. Since then, chemists have used surface chemistries not only to color textiles, but also to impart many different properties to fibers and fabrics — for example, guncotton in the mid-1800s. Today, coatings and dyes are commonplace for textiles, and companies like Nano-Tex LLC, Oakland, Calif., were among the earliest to market their products using a nanotechnology spin.

 In 2000, the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee (NSET) of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Technology defined nanotechnology as a "research and technology development at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels, in the length scale of approximately 1-100 nanometers [nm], to provide a fundamental understanding of phenomena and materials at the nanoscale and to create and use structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small and/or intermediate size. Nanotechnology research and development includes manipulation under control of the nanoscale structures and their integration into larger material components, systems and architectures. Within these larger scale assemblies, the control and construction of their structures and components remains at the nanometer scale." NSET also notes exceptions at both ends of the scale, for example, nanoparticle-reinforced polymers that exhibit novel properties and phenomena at around 200 to 300 nm owing to bonds between the nanoparticles and the polymer.

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