Water Repellancy That's Durable?
Nanotechnology may make waterproof clothing work better thanks to a UK company.
Posted: 11 June 2007
New advances in nanotechnology may mean Durable Water Repellant -
DWR - treatments for waterproof fabrics that actually are
Current DWRs tend to be relatively short lived, so eventually the
outside of a waterproof jacket stops repelling water and becomes
saturated or 'wets out'. Once that's happened, no matter how
breathable the fabric, its ability to pass moisture vapour outwards
is massively reduced and you quickly become damp from
That could be set to change with an Oxford-based company called
P2i Ltd getting Euro accreditation for its operations. The company's
treatment uses something called ion-mask to apply a nanotechnology
surface treatment to the entire surface of a product which is only
The layer is molecularly bound to the surface of the material and
cannot be removed by solvents, chemicals or 'common environmental
conditions' making it, incredibly durable.
It also, says the company, displays ultra low surface energy
values down to one third of that of PTFE (Teflon), so it's
ultra-slippery too. Ideal for the outside of a waterproof jacket
particularly as the other qualities of the material treated remain
It's early days yet, but it's an exciting development that could
mean waterproof clothing that works better for longer.
More information at www.p2i-labs.co.uk
where there's a guided tour to the plasma technology used by the
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