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Mexican scientists researching on garments from latex
Feb '12
Researchers at Instituto Politécnico Nacional (National Polytechnic Institute, IPN), the most important public technological higher education centre in Mexico, are currently developing synthetic materials from rubber that can be used to make “smart” garments.

The synthetic materials will have stronger, lighter and more durable elastic properties, according to Adrian Fuentes, who heads the Department of Research at IPN's College of Textile Engineering.

The first phase of the “smart” design project, which is currently underway, focuses on the synthesis, chemical modification, and characterization of polymer properties to make waterproof cotton fabric with latex.

The application of new technologies to natural fibres will produce a fabric that will have various applications in industries and it will also be useful for manufacturing of “smart” clothing, during the second phase of research.

The expert said Mexico has enormous potential to widely manufacture new materials, owing to high quantity of natural rubber production in the country.

Mr. Andrian explained that rubber exists in a polymer form and can be moulded into any form from amorphous (soft) to crystalline (hard). Besides being elastic, natural rubber when cured, resists acids and bases, is waterproof, and insulating to temperature and electricity. All these features together enable the use of rubber to develop a wide range of clothing.

The expert suggested that Mexico should take advantage of its natural rubber production and increase the use of new materials to become a leader in products with higher added value.

The researcher also informed about nylon 6 that can be crystallized with various chemical processes to develop a fire-resistant thread that can be used to make clothing for firefighters, and has other applications.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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