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The dry tale of watertight fabrics


The dry tale of watertight fabrics

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Sourcing the perfect waterproof ensemble is an age-old tradition. It demands assertiveness and great daring, and many, sadly, have been left sodden in the process. But researchers in Poland believe they may have found the answer.

Scientists at the Polish University of Technology in Lodz claim they have created a fabric capable of completely repelling liquid, using an ionized gas known as cold plasma.

The phenomenon, as Professor Jacek Tyzynski explained, is known as hydrophobicity: “The method is based on the creation of a superhydrophobic coating that protects the surface of the fabric from water filtrating between the fibres. Droplets form on the surface of the fabric but they don’t soak into it.”

The cold plasma is used to create a wax-like cloak over the fabric. Because the waterproof layer is only spread over its surface, this cold plasma treatment does not alter the fabric’s internal structure.

Przemyslaw Makowski at the University of Technology, said it has great potential: “The method will be used in the production of clothing for professionals and, if possible, also for general household items such as upholstery and tablecloths.”

For now, scientists are only able to turn out such fabrics measuring 5cm by 5cm. But as the demand from waiters and fishermen everywhere mounts, the pressure is on to produce much larger sized pieces of material.

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