Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2006
Publication Date: 5/2/2006
Citation: Singh, K.V., Sawhney, A.P., Sachinvala, N.D., Li, G., Pang, S., Condon, B.D., Parachuru, R. 2006. Applications and future of nanotechnology in textiles. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 2,497-2,503. Interpretive Summary: Nanotechnology, although it is more than 100 years old, has recently become the most promising technology to produce, cost effectively and efficiently, considerably improved products of all kinds, including cotton textiles. Product manufacturing and quality can be enhanced by application of nanotechnology. In the area of textiles, nanotechnology can be used to manufacture new types of fibers that can be used to produce specialty textiles of improved performance. It can also be used to treat existing textiles, including cotton textiles, to enhance product characteristics. For example, by using nanotechnology, cotton fabrics can be finished to impart greater strength, improved crease- as well as flame- resistance, and softer hand. In this paper, the authors have attempted to summarize the recent advances made in nanotechnology and the latter's applications in cotton textiles, along with some ideas about the future research direction in this area. The future research should be targeted on developing improved dirt, crease and shrink resistance properties in fabrics, temperature adaptable clothing, and odor-less undergarments. It is envisioned that by combining the optical fibers, micro mirrors, functional coatings, electronic textiles, and customized fabrics can be developed which can change their colors, as per the consumer’s taste and desire. Several advances can also be made towards the development of strong fibers and fabrics for biomedical and military applications. Indeed, there is a significant potential for profitable applications of nanotechnology in cotton and other textiles. Several applications of the technology can be extended to even attain the performance enhancement of textile manufacturing machines & processes. Since the textile industry has the biggest customer base in the world, the advances in customer-oriented products, via. Nanotechnology should be the focus for the future product developments.
Technical Abstract: It is well known that cotton fabrics provide desirable properties such as absorbency, breathability and softness. However, their applications often are limited due to their inferior strength, durability, crease resistance, dirt resistance, and flame resistance. On the other hand, fabrics made with synthetic fibers generally are very strong, crease resistant, antimicrobial, and dirt resistant, but they lack the comfort properties of cotton fabrics. With recent advances in nanotechnology, it is possible to develop next-generation cotton-based fabrics that can complement the advantages of both cotton and man-made fibers. Such advanced fabrics can be produced either by blending cotton with special man-made nano-fibers or by treating the yarns or fabrics with various design/material modifications at nano-scale. In this study, we have attempted to summarize the recent advances made in nano-technology and the latter's applications in cotton textiles, along with some ideas about the future research direction in this area.