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

item SHI, QUAN - North Carolina State University
item VITCHULI, NARENDIRAN - North Carolina State University
item NOWAK, JOSHUA - North Carolina State University
item JIANG, SHAN - Zhejiang University
item Caldwell, Jane
item Breidt, Frederick
item BOURHAM, MOHAMED - North Carolina State University
item ZHANG, XIANGWU - North Carolina State University
item MCCORD, MARIAN - North Carolina State University

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/14/2012
Publication Date: 4/15/2013
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.