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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improved Processes for Cucumbers, Cabbage, Sweetpotatoes, and Peppers to Make High Quality, Nutritious Products and Reduce Pollution

Location: Food Science Research

Title: Multi-functional and durable nanofiber-fabric layered composite for protective application

item Shi, Quan -
item Vitchuli, Narendiran -
item Nowak, Joshua -
item Jiang, Shan -
item Caldwell, Jane
item Breidt, Frederick
item Bourham, Mohamed -
item Zhang, Xiangwu -
item Mccord, Marian -

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 14, 2012
Publication Date: April 15, 2013
Repository URL:
Citation: Shi, Q., Vitchuli, N., Nowak, J., Jiang, S., Caldwell, J.M., Breidt, F., Bourham, M., Zhang, X., Mccord, M. 2013. Multi-functional and durable nanofiber-fabric layered composite for protective application. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 128(2):1219-1226.

Interpretive Summary: Durable antimicrobial fabrics have many uses, including hospital, laboratory, and military applications. Several approaches have been tried to develop these fabrics, and a variety of different antimicrobial compounds have been used for the application. This manuscript describes a multi-layered fabric made with nanofiber technology along with more traditional Nylon and cotton components. Fabric properties were tested to help determine the suitability for protective clothing, including being a barrier to aerosols which could contain bacteria, as well as air and moisture permeability, and resistance to physical stresses. The antimicrobial properties of the fabric were also tested, and it was found that a silver metal based antimicrobial compound effectively killed strains of the two major types of pathogenic bacteria. The results show the fiber has promising characteristics for protective applications.

Technical Abstract: A multifunctional and durable nanofiber-fabric-layered composite (NFLC) material was prepared by depositing electrospun Ag/PAN hybrid nanofibers onto a Nylon/cotton 50: 50 fabric substrate. The NFLCs showed excellent aerosol barrier efficiency and good air/moisture permeability. In addition, they showed excellent antibacterial efficiency by completely inhibiting the growth of both Gram-negative E. coli and Gram-positive S. aureus. The interfacial adhesion between the nanofiber layer and fabric substrate was significantly improved by atmospheric plasma pretreatment of the substrate. The resultant NFLCs showed excellent resistance to peeling, twisting, and flexing forces.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014