by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 19, 2011
Imagine jeans, sweats or socks that clean and de-odorize themselves when hung on a clothesline in the sun or draped on a balcony railing. Scientists are reporting development of a new cotton fabric that does clean itself of stains and bacteria when exposed to ordinary sunlight. Their report appears in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Mingce Long and Deyong Wu say their fabric uses a coating made from a compound of titanium dioxide, the white material used in everything from white paint to foods to sunscreen lotions.
Titanium dioxide breaks down dirt and kills microbes when exposed to some types of light. It already has found uses in self-cleaning windows, kitchen and bathroom tiles, odor-free socks and other products.
Self-cleaning cotton fabrics have been made in the past, the authors note, but they self-clean thoroughly only when exposed to ultraviolet rays. So they set out to develop a new cotton fabric that cleans itself when exposed to ordinary sunlight.
Their report describes cotton fabric coated with nanoparticles made from a compound of titanium dioxide and nitrogen. They show that fabric coated with the material removes an orange dye stain when exposed to sunlight.
Further dispersing nanoparticles composed of silver and iodine accelerates the discoloration process. The coating remains intact after washing and drying.
American Chemical Society
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
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Researchers explain granular material properties
Waltham, MA (SPX) Dec 16, 2011
A stroll on the beach can mean sinking your toes into smooth sand or walking firm-footed on a surface that appears almost solid. While both properties are commonplace, exactly what it is that makes granular materials change from a flowing state to a "jammed," or solid, state? Whether it's sand on a beach or rice grains in a hopper, being able to predict the behavior of granular matter can ... read more
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