SELF-CLEANING CLOTHING SEES THE SUNLIGHT
HOW LONG BEFORE LAUNDRY BECOMES A THING OF THE PAST?
Laundry haters, rejoice! The future is here. Self-cleaning clothing has officially been created.
Dr. Rajesh Ramanathan from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia led a process development team in their quest to make self-cleaning clothing a reality outside of science lab. Their research has discovered how to grow nanostructures directly onto wearable textiles, which harnesses sunlight to degrade organic matter. When the team exposed the resulting substance to sunlight, the nano-enhanced cloth took less than six minutes to clean itself.
What is Nanostructured Clothing?
The material can be grown in less than 30 minutes, and is reproducible on an industrial level in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to housing. Textiles are one of the easiest applications to start with, because their 3D structure makes it easy for them to absorb light. This speeds up the process of degrading organic matter.
When the material is set outside in the sun, the self-cleaning function is activated within the nanostructures. These fibers, invisible to the naked eye, receive a burst of energy to create ‘hot electrons,’ which burns away stains from food, spills, and other dirt and grime.
While self-cleaning clothing won’t appear in stores until more testing has been completed, researchers are already moving on to trials against more organic compounds and “devastating” stains like red wine. In time, there’s no telling how this efficiently-designed “smart clothing” could change consumer chore list or even entire businesses like garment rental companies. We’ll be tracking this development with interest!
This research was published March 23, 2016 by Samuel R. Anderson in the Journal of Advanced Materials Interfaces.
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