The concept of nanotechnology was started over forty years ago and it also has real commercial potential it the textile industry. The use of nanotechnology in textile industry has increased rapidly due to its unique, valuable properties. The present status of nanotechnology use in industry is reviewed, with an emphasis on improving the properties of textile materials. The unique and new properties of nanomaterials have attracted not only the scientists and researchers but also the businesses, due to huge economical potential.
With the advent of nanoscience and technology, a new area has developed in the area of textile finishing called "Nanofinishing". The impact of nanotechnology in the textile garment finishing area has brought up innovative finishes as well as new application techniques. This advanced garment finishes setup an unprecedented level of textile performances of strain-resistant, hydrophilic, antistatic and wrinkle resistant and shrink proof abilities and protection methods.
Coating the surface of textiles and clothing with nanoparticles is an approach to the production of highly active surfaces to have UV blocking, antimicrobial, flame retardant, water repellant and self-cleaning properties. As there are various potential applications of nanotechnology in the textile industry, only some of the well-known properties imparted by nano-treatment are critically highlighted in this paper.
Nanotechnology is concerned with materials whose structures exhibit significantly novel and improved physical, chemical, and biological properties, and functionality due to their nano-scaled size. Nanotechnology is increasingly attracting worldwide attention, because it is widely perceived as offering huge potential in world wide range of end uses. Enhancement of textile materials by nanotechnology is expected to become a trillion dollar industry in the next decade, with tremendous technological, economic and ecologic benefits. Therefore, the interest in using nanotechnology in textile industry is also increasing.
Definition of nanotechnology
The nanotechnology comes from the Greek word nanos, which means dwarf. Nanotechnology, a science that manipulates materials with atomic or molecular precision in a nanometer region, is regarded as the next basic technology to follow IT and bio-technology, i.e., through three-dimensional control of materials, processes and devices at atomic scale level. Nano-particles commonly used in commercial products are in the range of 1 to 100nm.
Coating is a common technique used to apply nano-particles onto textile materials. The properties imparted to textiles using nanotechnology include water repellence, soil resistance, wrinkles resistance, anti-bacterial, anti-static and UV- protection, flame retardation, improvement of dye ability and so on. Conventional finishing methods used to impart different properties to fabrics and garments often do not lead to permanent effects, and will lose their functions after laundering or wearing. Nanotechnology can provide high durability for fabrics, because nano-particles have a large surface area-to-volume ratio and high surface energy, thus presenting better affinity for fabrics and lending to an increase in durability of the function. In addition, the coating of nano-particles on fabrics will not affect the breathability or hand feel.
About the Author
The authors are studying in IV Semester B. Tech (Textile Technology) at Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, Sathyamangalam, Erode Dt, Tamilnadu.