skip to main content

Title: “Skin-like” fabric for personal moisture management
Personal moisture management fabrics that facilitate sweat transport away from the skin are highly desirable for wearer’s comfort and performance. Here, we demonstrate a “skin-like” directional liquid transport fabric, which enables continuous one-way liquid flow through spatially distributed channels acting like “sweating glands” yet repels external liquid contaminants. The water transmission rate can be 15 times greater than that of best commercial breathable fabrics. This exceptional property is achieved by creating gradient wettability channels across a predominantly superhydrophobic substrate. The flow directionality is explained by the Gibbs pinning criterion. The permeability, mechanical property, and abrasion resistance (up to 10,000 cycles) of the fabric were not affected by the treatment. In addition to functional clothing, this concept can be extended for developing materials for oil-water separation, wound dressing, geotechnical engineering, flexible microfluidics, and fuel cell membranes.
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Water transport inside carbon nano-tubes (CNTs) has attracted considerable attention due to its nano-fluidic properties, its importance in nonporous systems, and the wide range of applications in membrane desalination and biological medicine. Recent studies show an enhancement of water diffusion inside nano-channels depending on the size of the nano-confinement. However, the underlying mechanism of this enhancement is not well understood yet. In this study, we performed Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations to study water flow inside CNT systems. The length of CNTs considered in this study is 20 nm, but their diameters vary from 1 to 10 nm. The simulations are conducted at temperatures ranging from 260 K to 320 K. We observe that water molecules are arranged into coaxial water tubular sheets. The number of these tubular sheets depends on the CNT size. Further analysis reveals that the diffusion of water molecules along the CNT axis deviates from the Arrhenius temperature dependence. The non-Arrhenius relationship results from a fragile liquid-like water component persisting at low temperatures with fragility higher than that of the bulk water.
  2. Polymeric sensors on fabrics have vast potential toward the development of versatile applications, particularly when the ready-made wearable or fabric can be directly coated. However, traditional coating approaches, such as solution-based methods, have limitations in achieving uniform and thin films because of the poor surface wettability of fabrics. Herein, to realize a uniform poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) layer on various everyday fabrics, we use oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD). The oCVD technique is a unique method capable of forming patterned polymer films with controllable thicknesses while maintaining the inherent advantages of fabrics, such as exceptional mechanical stability and breathability. Utilizing the superior characteristics of oCVD PEDOT, we succeed in fabricating blood pressure– and respiratory rate–monitoring sensors by directly depositing and patterning PEDOT on commercially available disposable gloves and masks, respectively. Those results are expected to pave efficient and facile ways for skin-compatible and affordable sensors for personal health care monitoring.
  3. The aeroacoustic properties of porous fabrics are investigated experimentally with the goal of finding a fabric that serves as an improved interface between wind tunnel flow and quiescent conditions. A total number of eight porous fabrics were investigated, namely, four glass fiber fabrics, two plain-weave Kevlar fabrics, and two modified plain Kevlar fabrics with their pores irregularly clogged. Two custom-made rigs were used to quantify the transmission loss (TL) and self-noise of all fabrics. The pores were found to serve as a low-resistance gateway for sound to pass through, hence enabling a low TL. The TL was found to increase with decreasing open area ratio (OAR), whereas other fabric properties had a minor impact on TL. The thread density was found to be a primary factor in determining the frequency range of porous fabrics’ self-noise, with the OAR potentially playing a secondary role in the self-noise levels. Fabrics with irregular pore distribution showed a more broadband self-noise signature associated with lower frequencies compared to fabrics with periodic pore patterns. Overall, fabrics with an irregular pore distribution or fabrics with increased thread density were identified as two potential ways to obtain superior aeroacoustic behavior compared to commonly used Kevlar fabrics.
  4. Traditional protective garments loaded with activated carbons to remove toxic gases are very bulky. Novel graphene oxide (GO) flake-based composite lamellar membrane structure is being developed as a potential component of a garment for protection against chemical warfare agents (CWAs) represented here by simulants, dimethyl methyl phosphonate (DMMP) (a sarin-simulant), and 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide (CEES) (a simulant for sulfur mustard), yet allowing a high-moisture transmission rate. GO flakes of dimensions 300−800 nm, 0.7−1.2 nm thickness and dispersed in an aqueous suspension were formed into a membrane by vacuum filtration on a porous poly(ether sulfone) (PES) or poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) support membrane for noncovalent π−π interactions with GO flakes. After physical compression of such a membrane, upright cup tests indicated that it can block toluene for 3−4 days and DMMP for 5 days while exhibiting excellent water vapor permeation. Further, they display very low permeances for small-molecule gases/vapors. The GO flakes underwent crosslinking later with ethylenediamine (EDA) introduced during the vacuum filtration followed by physical compression and heating. With a further spray coating of polyurethane (PU), these membranes could be bent without losing barrier properties vis-à-vis the CWA simulant DMMP for 5 days; a membrane not subjected to bending blockedmore »DMMP for 15 days. For the PEEK-EDA-GO-PU compressed membranes after bending, the separation factors of H2O over other species for low gas flow rates in the dynamic moisture permeation cell (DMPC) are: αH2O−He is 42.3; αH2O−N2 is 110; and αH2O−ethane is 1800. At higher gas flow rates in the DMPC, the moisture transmission rate goes up considerably due to reduced boundary layer resistances and exceeds the threshold water vapor flux of 2000 g/(m2·day) that defines a breathable fabric. This membrane displayed considerable resistance to permeation by CEES as well. The PES-EDA-GO-PU-compressed membrane shows good mechanical property under tensile strength tests.« less
  5. SUMMARY An archaeomagnetic, rock magnetic and magnetic fabric study has been carried out on seven anthropogenic ash horizons in the Middle Palaeolithic sedimentary level XXIV at the rock shelter of Crvena Stijena (‘Red Rock’), Montenegro. The study has multiple goals, including the identification of iron bearing minerals formed during combustion, assessment of the suitability of these combustion features for recording the Earth´s magnetic field direction, revelation of the magnetic fabric and its significance in the characterization of cave (rock shelter) burnt facies, and identification of post-burning alteration processes. Magnetite has been identified as the main ferromagnetic component of the ash. The ash layers exhibit a high thermomagnetic reversibility in contrast to the irreversible behaviour of their subjacent burnt black layers which is related to the different temperatures attained. Seven mean archaeomagnetic directions were obtained with acceptable statistical values indicating that these features recorded the field direction at the time of burning. However, some of them are out of the expected range of secular variation for mid-latitude regions suggesting post-burning alterations. The magnetic fabric of the ash was characterized by anisotropy of low field magnetic susceptibility measurements. Statistical analysis (box and whisker plot) of the basic anisotropy parameters, such as foliation,more »lineation, degree of anisotropy and the shape parameter, along with the alignment of the principal susceptibilities on stereoplots, revealed variation among the ash units. The diverse, oblate to prolate, lineated or strongly foliated, quasi-horizontally and vertically oriented fabrics of the units may indicate different slope processes, such as orientation by gravity, solifluction, run-off water, quasi-vertical migration of groundwater and post-burning/post-depositional alteration of the fabric by rockfall impact. In sum, the magnetic characterization of the ash layers has shown the occurrence of different post-burning alteration processes previously not identified at the site. Alteration processes in prehistoric combustion features are often identified from macroscopic observations but our study demonstrates that multiple processes can affect them and are usually unnoted because they take place on a microscopic scale. Their identification is critical for a correct chronological and cultural interpretation of a site (e.g. collection of samples for dating, stratigraphic displacement of remains), especially if significant alterations are involved. Magnetic methods are therefore a powerful but underutilized tool in palaeolithic research for the identification and evaluation of taphonomic processes affecting prehistoric fires.« less