Nanocellulose-based textiles might be a recent development, but they’ve come a long way in a short time. Now, the Center for Advanced Fibers and Coating Technologies is developing a material capable of matching efficiency and versatility for consumers and commercial property owners alike.
Boasting permeability, environmental friendliness and affordability, nanofiber carpets may very well be the industry’s next big boom source.
The Nitty Gritty of Nanofabricated Gels
At the core of recent nanofiber carpet developments is, of course, the material they’re comprised of. Nanofabricated cellulose gels are a bit different from other industry innovations. Able to be deposited upon a carpet’s individual fibers, these gels are comprised of polymers and natural fibers.
Don’t let the high focus on natural materials fool you, however. While the invention’s materials are raw, natural resources, they’re both sustainable, and reliable. They’re made by a process called biomass processing, crafted to be both biocompatible and biodegradable for years to come.
The Secret Source: Nanothermocapsules
While this all-natural design may be kind on the environment, its massive surface area stems from several nano-dimensions up to a few microns in length. Meanwhile, the material’s hydroxyl-potent surface makes it easier for particulates to bond from hydrogen covalent bonds.
This results in a highly adjustable material—one which can be changed depending on coating needs. As it’s applied to roofing and furniture fixtures, the composite adapts to its surfaces needs. It’s even adaptable to footwear, fabrics and carpets.
Researchers from U-M and the University of Wisconsin have studied the mechanics and impacts of nanofiber carpet to great extent. Oddly, their design works much in the way polar bear hairs do. Polar bear hairs are structured to allow light safe passage—holding in heat. Repelling water, these nanoscale hairs are similar to those found on gecko feet to allow gravity-defying climbs.
Is Nanofiber the Next Velcro?
Quite a lot of research surrounds nanofiber technology, spanning across its baseline properties into its feasibility as a modern design cornerstone. Will molecular carpets issue in a new age of adhesives?
It’s more than possible: Research supported by the Army Research Office suggests incredible control over the material’s chemistry, fiber adaptations and baseline architecture during applications. Researchers have tested individual nanocellulose chains, evaporating them in fluids which force thin polymer films to materialize.
Discoveries suggest that while it may take time to formulate impactive industry innovations, the nanofibers still form nanoscale carpets at the bottom of research dishes following exposure to the above-mentioned liquids. The base requirements for further study and invention have been met—and studies are only expected to continue.