Researchers Make Chemical Warfare Protective Nanofibers out of Deck Sealer

Aug 28, 2006

While cotton may be the fabric of our lives, Texas Tech University researchers may have discovered a polyurethane nanofiber technique that can save lives.

Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar, an assistant professor at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech, and graduate student Thandavamoorthy Subbiah discovered a honeycomb polyurethane nanofabric by using electrospinning. The nanofabric, created by exposing polyurethane to high voltage, can not only trap toxic chemicals, but also be used in a hazardous material suit.

Ramkumar’s findings are featured in the Sept. 5 edition of the Journal of Applied Polymer Science. The project was supported by the U.S. federal funds.

“These fibers are tiny,” Ramkumar said. “They’re about 1,000 times smaller than microfibres. We are able to develop honeycomb-like structures with this method, which makes a mesh within a mesh. This may not only provide increased surfaces area, but also can trap toxic chemicals more efficiently. These fibers are yet to be tested for their protection capabilities.”

Ramkumar and other researchers were able to observe self-assembled honeycomb nanomeshes that have not been reported before in the case of polyurethane nanofibers.

“This can be a very efficient filter against toxic chemicals, as well as a membrane for protecting people,” he said. “This will provide a significant boon to chemical protective clothing as well as a method to trap chemical warfare agents.”

Source: Texas Tech University

Explore further: Understanding the source of extra-large capacities in promising Li-ion battery electrodes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hoverbike drone project for air transport takes off

6 hours ago

What happens when you cross a helicopter with a motorbike? The crew at Malloy Aeronautics has been focused on a viable answer and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support its Hoverbike project, "The ...

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

6 hours ago

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

7 hours ago

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Graphene surfaces on photonic racetracks

8 hours ago

In an article published in Optics Express, scientists from The University of Manchester describe how graphene can be wrapped around a silicon wire, or waveguide, and modify the transmission of light through it.

Simulating the invisible

9 hours ago

Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos in the OIST Nanoparticles by Design Unit simulates the interactions of particles that are too small to see, and too complicated to visualize. In order to study the particles' behavior, he uses ...

Building 'invisible' materials with light

10 hours ago

A new method of building materials using light, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility ...

User comments : 0