Gandhigram Rural Institute has developed a special new textile material which can be used for making dress for soldiers on the war front. The new material has all features required by the soldiers.
Chemistry Professor M.G. Sethuraman said that the specially modified cotton fabric has self-cleaning, super-hydrophobic and anti-bacterial properties, prefect textile material for military personnel. It has other properties such as softness, breathability and biodegradability. It also has properties of blood repellency and UV protection. The new textile material could also be used for medical professionals and nurses.
Cotton has been chosen as the base material and modified by fabricating a copper coating through reduction of copper acetate by employing ascorbic acid at room temperature. With a coating of Stearic acid over the copper-coated fabric, the surface of the fabric becomes water-repellent.
Mr. Sethuraman said that the fabric has mechanical stability and washing durability showing super- hydrophobic property with a water contact angle of 159 degrees. It would also separate oil-water mixture owing to its super-oleophilic nature of functionalised cotton. Tests against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria too showed very good anti-bacterial activity as well as blood-repelling property.
The material had been characterized by modern methods such as x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and x-ray photo electron microscopy, he noted.
A detailed research proposal has already been submitted to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Its cost of production will not be much. Moreover, the quality of cotton will be retained.
They have approached the DRDO for funds to widen their research to manufacture electronic textiles that will become the choice of the youth in future.
Gandhigram Rural Institute is a UGC recognized deemed university situated near Dindigul in Tamilnadu.
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