From innerwear to batteries, nanomaterials are changing our lives

From innerwear to batteries, nanomaterials are changing our lives

Hyderabad (India Science Wire) - A silent revolution is on in the business of textiles. Fabrics are coming into the market with novel properties that were totally unexpected a few years ago. While some may have anti-bacterial properties, others may give the wearer protection from harmful ultraviolet rays or for that matter be self cleaning. The list is rapidly expanding.

The International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) has developed and commercialized nanomaterials that endow fabrics with special properties. Two of its most popular innovations are nano-silver suspension and nano-titanium dioxide material.

The nano-silver suspension, called N9, is being widely used by the textile industry to produce antibacterial fabrics for hospitals, innerwear, sportswear, socks, baby care products and other such use. The nano-titanium dioxide material - also called nano-titania - has high photo-catalytic activity and is used to impart self-cleaning property to the textile and to make them ultraviolet proof.

The technology of two nanomaterials has been transferred to Bangalore-based Resil Chemicals for commercialization. The company has launched garments treated with the nano-silver suspension under the brand name ?N9 Pure Silver? and those treated with nano-titania material under the tag names of ?Sun Wash? and ?Wearable Sun Screen?. Several leading denim brands have adapted this technology.

"We should look for alternate cheaper battery materials. We have all the fabrication technology. We can perhaps make them better. I see a great challenge and requirement to make cost effective batteries," said Dr. G. Padmanabham, Director of ARCI.

ARCI has also undertaken a major task to improve the efficiency and performance of Lithium Ion Battery (LIB) technology for electric vehicles. It is trying to figure out whether it can use its experience and expertise in the areas of nano-material and carbon coating on electrode to achieve this. In addition, it is engaged in looking at the possibility of developing a new range of batteries that performed better than Lithium Ion for electrical vehicles.

As a major research centre in the field of material sciences, ARCI specializes in areas such as solar and automotive energy materials, engineering coatings, ceramic processing, fuel cell technology, and laser processing of materials.

In arrangement with: India Science Wire

Image couresy: ARCI

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