Self-repairing clothes are a reality. Squids are the answer to cotton, wool and linen clothes which repair by themselves.
Are self-repairing clothes in our future? Whatever the answer to that the once impossible idea seems to be a reality. A cloth which repairs by itself has been invented by two individuals. Walter Dressick of who works in the Naval Research Office and Melik Demirel from the Pennsylvania State University.
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"Fashion designers use natural fibers made of proteins like wool or silk that are expensive and they are not self-healing," said Melik C. Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics. "We were looking for a way to make fabrics self-healing using conventional textiles. So we came up with this coating technology."
The duo and their team developed an autonomous self-repairing mechanism which heals tears in clothes. For instance cotton, linen and wool will no longer have to stay worn. The results of the development have been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
The duo behind the invention came upon the secret to self-healing clothes using squids. More specifically the natural proteins present in the rings of teeth in squid suckers.
The proteins are structurally similar to the proteins of the spider silk, strong and elastic to a great degree. The research team developed a coating deriving said proteins.
The coating was then applied to different fabrics for testing. It was seen when the torn pieces of cloth were dipped in water they healed. The cut pieces of fabric bonded back in just a minute.
If used properly this unique coting can be applied to a wide variety of clothes to extend their life. Fashion is not the only place where this technology may prove to be useful.
The coating can also be applied for various applications in the military settings. For example to make sure military uniforms have a barrier that does not tear easily.
Similarly the coating on the uniforms could act as a barrier from chemicals, and not only for military personnel on missions but for workers. Farmers will no longer have to be afraid of exposure to toxic fertilizers.
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This research got published online in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.