PolyU scientist develop new textile materials for sportswear

October 17, 2011
Professor John Xin, Acting Head of PolyU’s Institute of Textile and Clothing, and his PhD student Miss Kong Yee-yee showing the novel fabric

A novel type of fabric that can absorb water and perspiration on one side and transport it to the other has been invented by a team of textile scientists based at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU).

A novel type of fabric that can absorb water and perspiration on one side and transport it to the other has been invented by a team of scientists based at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). The finding was published in the latest issue of the (Issue dated 13 October 2011) of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This ground-breaking research was done by Professor John Xin, Acting Head of PolyU’s Institute of Textile and Clothing; his PhD student Miss Kong Yee-yee; and Dr Liu Yuyang of the Stevens Institute of Technology in the US. The researchers have made the fabric hydrophilic on one side by coating it with nano titania, which gives the material photo-induced hydrophilicity. This means that its hydrophilicity can be controlled by light. The fabric becomes hydrophobic after being stored in the dark.

The fabric could be used to wick sweat away from the human skin. In the light, water can be transported in a controllable manner from the hydrophobic side (next to the skin) to the hydrophilic side and then spread out rapidly along the channels on the hydrophilic side.

This differs from other that do a similar thing. Current materials work by creating a surface energy gradient across the fabric by a pressure difference. Professor John Xin’s work introduces nano and smart elements into the system, taking advantage of titania’s properties.

A pioneering researcher, Professor John Xin and is renowned for his nano-technology breakthrough for to develop a special which can be made into self-cleaning clothes. This breakthrough by Professor Xin and Dr Walid Daoud in 2004 was also reported by Nature.

Explore further: Chemistry makes the natural 'wonder fabric' -- wool -- more wonderful

Related Stories

From chemical engineering to the catwalk

September 14, 2010

Seamless fabric that can be sprayed on to skin and other surfaces to make clothes, medical bandages and even upholstery will be demonstrated this Thursday, in advance of the Science in Style spray-on fashion show next week ...

Recommended for you

Scientists enlist baker's yeast in a hunt for new medicines

July 24, 2017

One of the hardest parts in drug discovery is pinning down how a medicine actually works in the body. It took nearly 100 years to uncover the molecular target of aspirin, but even with cutting-edge technology, it can take ...

A toolbox for creating new drugs

July 24, 2017

ETH microbiologists led by Markus Künzler have discovered a remarkable enzyme in a fungus. They now want to use it to develop new drugs.

Genetically engineered yeast soak up heavy metal pollution

July 21, 2017

Environmental contamination with heavy metals is often the result of various types of industrial processes. Because heavy metals can be dangerous to humans and other wildlife, contaminated sites need to be cleaned up. This ...

0 comments

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.