#materialscience

Research, development and commercial applications of advanced flexible materials.

Recent Articles

Technical Textiles Gaining Ground in 2018

In Brief

According to a report from Textile World, 2018 State of the U.S. Technical Textiles Industry, the outlook for technical textiles is healthy as the U.S. enters the ninth year of economic recovery following the recession. Manufacturers are using this opportunity to develop innovative solutions to the problems facing healthcare and other industries by introducing new technical textiles.

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Electrospun Nanofibers Take Technical Textiles to a New Level

In Brief

"Smart" devices, appliances, glasses, watches, clothing and numerous other items have flooded the market in recent years. The global market for the smart clothing sector alone is expected to reach $2 billion by the end of this year. One of the reasons for the technological strides is the advances in technical textiles. Smart fabrics must be able to conduct electricity, as well as be flexible, breathable and comfortable for the wearer. Those specs have proven difficult until recently. A group of international researchers tested the use of polymer nanofiber composite nonwovens that were produced through the process of electrospinning. Their research yielded a bendable and breathable fabric with metal-like electrical conductivity. While electrospinning has been used to manufacture nonwovens for many years, its application to smart clothing is revolutionizing this new technology.

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Advances in Exoskeletal Materials

In Brief

Developments in prostheses and robot technology have advanced rapidly, leading to the manufacture of devices known as 'exoskeletons.' These rigid devices, usually constructed with plastic and metal, act as an external skeleton, providing support and mobility to someone with decreased muscle tone or activity. While these devices provide exciting capabilities to the wearer, they are inherently heavy and inflexible.

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Outlook for Wearables and Smart Textiles

In Brief

Advances in smart electronics have already produced a number of devices that are currently on the market. Textile manufacturers brought sensor-based smart wearables to the market, mainly for collection of bio-data (heart rate, body temperature, etc.) and use in workplace safety. 

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What's the next step in Fighting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria? Nanotechnology

In Brief

Over the last hundred years, antibiotics have been central to the extraordinary rate of improvement in medical technology. From swiftly curing basic infections to raising the rate of survival after invasive surgical procedures, they have given humanity superior life expectancy and overall health today than at any point in the history of civilization. As many know, however, excessive and improper prescription of antibiotics to treat illness has led to the appearance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In the search for novel approaches to fighting this bacteria, nanotechnology has come into increasing use.

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