Self-Healing Textiles! Say Goodbye To Torn Jeans

Yes, those torn jeans can at last repair themselves! Too bad, fashionable people, you're going to join the ranks of the properly clothed, thanks to advances made by researchers at Penn State.

"Fashion designers use natural fibers made of proteins like wool or silk that are expensive and they are not self-healing," said Melik C. Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics. "We were looking for a way to make fabrics self-healing using conventional textiles. So we came up with this coating technology."

The procedure is simple. The material to be coated is dipped in a series of liquids to create layers of material to form a self-healing, polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer coating.

This coating is deposited "under ambient conditions in safe solvents, such as water, at low cost using simple equipment amenable to scale-up," the researchers report online in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Polyelectrolyte coatings are made up of positively and negatively charged polymers, in this case polymers like those in squid ring teeth proteins.

"We currently dip the whole garment to create the advanced material," said Demirel, who is also a member of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. "But we could do the threads first, before manufacturing if we wanted to."

During the layering, enzymes can be incorporated into the coating. The researchers used urease -- the enzyme that breaks urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide -- but in commercial use, the coating would be tailored with enzymes matched to the chemical being targeted.

"If you need to use enzymes for biological or chemical effects, you can have an encapsulated enzyme with self-healing properties degrade the toxin before it reaches the skin," said Demirel.

Many toxic substances can be absorbed through the skin. Organophosphates, for example, which are used as herbicides and insecticides are absorbed through the skin and can be lethal. Some of these chemicals have also been used as nerve agents. A garment coated with a self-healing film containing an organophosphate hydrolase, an enzyme that breaks down the toxic material, could limit exposure. The squid ring teeth polymer is self-healing in the presence of water, so laundering would repair micro and macro defects in the coating, making the garments rewearable and reusable.

"The coatings are thin, less than a micron, so they wouldn't be noticed in everyday wear," said Demirel. "Even thin, they increase the overall strength of the material."

Science fiction writers have this advance already in hand, thank you very much. In his 1970 short story Say Goodby to the Wind, the incomparable JG Ballard describes bio-fabric:

...Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture [see inert-wear] that can approximate only crudely to the vagrant human figure, but from living tissues that adapt themselves to the contours and personality of the wearer. Other advantages are the continued growth of the materials, fed by the body odours and perspriration of the wearer, the sweet liqueurs distilled from her own pores, and the constant renewal of the fibers, repairing any faults or ladders and eliminating the need for washing.
(Read much more about the Ballardian bio-fabric )

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/13/2016)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Clothing ")

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!' - Murray Leinster, 1945.

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.' - J.G. Ballard, 1970.

Eighth Sense Emotion-Responsive Cloak
'This sensitivity to mood explains the real popularity of bio-fabrics...' - JG Ballard, 1970.

proCover Smart Sock Prosthetic Limb Enhancement
'Series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce...' - Roger Zelazny, 1965.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...'

NASA's Astronaut Rescue Ball
'Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..'

ARM Wants To Build Brain Chips
'Slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon...'

Sky Fence - A Drone-Proof Shield Created Over Prison
'There’s still a protective field over the whole thing. It volatilizes anything that tries to get through.'

Geoengineering The Atmosphere For Climate Change
'...a uniform temperature for each degree of latitude the year round.'

Archinaut Orbiting Robotic Factory
'mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Cryonic Preservation - The Last Perk You'll Ever Need
'Is there not also a law providing for voluntary suspension of animation?'

Computers Understand Humans By Watching And Modeling Them
Soon, your computer will be watching you... and judging you.

NASA Asks For Moon To Earth Delivery Ideas
'Authority's 3-g catapult was almost one hundred kilometers long...'

Musk Tunnels Wisely Restrict Drivers
Too many robots.

Robot Swarms Controlled With Augmented Reality
'You're not thinking in enough dimensions...'

MIT's C-LEARN Helps Robots Transfer Learning To Other Robots
'Talk Between Robots radio...'

Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

Rapid Automated Search For Habitable Planets Needed
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.'

WatchSense Perfect For Fat-Fingered Smartwatch Owners
'Now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components...'

Digital Construction Platform Robot 3D Prints A Building
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.