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February 10th, 2005
Clemson researchers weave fabric of the future
What do you get when you put together a physical chemist, two polymer scientists and a self-proclaimed "fiber guy" (that is, a textile chemist)? A self-cleaning suit, of course.
The technology works by putting nanoscale bumps on a textile that are so small that agglomerated water droplets don't fall into the troughs. That keeps water and dirt on the surface of the fabric, yet with a minimum of surface contact between them and the fabric fibers. As a result, dirt comes off easily when a spray of water is applied. In short, Jacobs said, water and dirt don't "get a grip" on the fabric.
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