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: Nanomaterials to preserve ancient works of art

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Nanomaterials to preserve ancient works of art

7 hours ago

Little would we know about history if it weren't for books and works of art. But as time goes by, conserving this evidence of the past is becoming more and more of a struggle. Could this all change thanks ...

Learning anti-microbial physics from cicada

8 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Inspired by the wing structure of a small fly, an NPL-led research team developed nano-patterned surfaces that resist bacterial adhesion while supporting the growth of human cells.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.