Nano Textiles – Development is taking place at a greater speed in every field of technology similarly Textile field is also getting enhanced and numbers of research are taking place.The result of one of such research is Nano Textiles.
The term Nano in Nano technology comes from a Greek word “Nanos” which means ‘dwarf‘. The dictionary meaning of dwarf is abnormally small. One nanometer is one billionth of a meter or 10-9 meters. One Nano meters is about 100000 times smaller than the diameter of the human hair. Nano tech mainly consists of the processing of Separation, consolidation and deformation of materials by one atom or one molecule, according to the statement of Prof. Nario Taniguchi given in 1974. Nanotechnology is an umbrella term covering a wide range of technologies concerned with structures and processes on the nanometer scale.
In the field of Textiles, focus i s given in main two areas, i. e., firstly, upgrading existing materials and performances of textiles materials and secondly, Developing intelligent textiles with completely new characteristics and functions. The application of nanotechnology in the field of textiles has led to the development of Nanofibers, NanoCompositions, NanoPolymers, NanoFinishes, etc. In the field of textiles, nanotechnology has been employed in the synthesis of quantum dot (semiconductor nanocrystals). a leading German chemical manufacturer has developed a spray-on coating that mimics the way lotus leaves repel water droplets and particles of dust. Lotus plants have super hydrophobia surface and this effect arises because they are coated with hydrophobic wax crystals of around 1 nm (nanometer) in diameter. This lotus effect had lead a very significant development in textile technology.
The first commercial application of Nano tech in textile and clothing industry is found in the form of Nano particle (some times called nano bead) through a finishing process, which is generally known as nano finishing. One of the development of nanotextiles is nano fibers. Fibers generally with diameter less than 1mN termed as the Nanofibers. Conventional fiber spinning processes are not able to produce polymer fibers with diameters in nanometer range. Nanofibers have a large specific surface area, a high porosity and small pore size in comparison with commercial textiles making them excellent candidates for use in filtration and membrane separation. Some of the nano fibres are Nylon nano fibres, Polyester nanofibers, Luminiscent nanofibres, Carbon nanofibres etc.
In making composite materials nanofibers play an important role they have better mechanical properties than microforms of the same material this is caused by elongation in electrostatic field and by lesser frequency of defects per unit length of nanofibres.
Nanotechnology has the potential to have a positive effect on the environment. This would include improved detection and sensing, removal of the finest contaminants from air, water and soil, and creation of the new industrial processes that waste products and are green’ (environment-friendly).
Nano – processed garments have protective coating, which is water and beverage repellent. Nano-materials allows good ventilation and reduces moisture absorption. Nano processed products are toxic free. The new functions with textiles to be developed include Wearable solar cell and energy storage, Sensors and information acquisition and transfer, Multiple and sophisticated protection and detection, Health-care and wound healing functions, Self-cleaning and repairing functions.