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Nanotechnology a succor to the hard pressed textile industry
28
Feb '08
Nanotechnology has been described as the thorough three-dimensional control of materials, processes and devices at the atomic-scale level (1x10-9m).

The ability to manipulate individual atoms and place them in a desired structure would lead to a new industrial revolution and completely change the way most things are constructed.

Nanotechnology helps in increasing performance and durability much beyond normal textiles by means of creating, altering and improving textiles at the molecular level.

The chemical formulation and application technology, which can be adopted with ease by existing textile mills, changes the fabric itself on a molecular level, embedding it with tiny, floppy, hair like fiber's that themselves are attached to a common spine.

Treatments on the nano-scale can translate to exciting attributes like water and oil repellency, fragrance release, anti-bacterial properties, anti-static properties, stain resistance etc.

Plasma technology is used to modify the top nanometer layers of textiles, allowing them to be made antibacterial, fungicidal and water repellent. Other applications also include heat resistant and mechanically resilient work wear, ballistic protection, sensors and camouflage.

Nanotechnology has been applied to produce an anti-static membrane for protective clothing against bad weather and electrostatic discharges. Nanoparticles have been used to provide the controlled release of fragrances, biocides and antifungal on textiles.

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Courtesy: World Bank/ Harshad Marathe

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