Crustaceans Create Smarter Fabrics

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11th January 2010, 12:57pm - Views: 1685

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Crustaceans create smarter fabrics

RMIT University researchers are using a natural biopolymer found in crustaceans

to create odour-repellent fabrics for use in the automotive industry.

The researchers are studying how specialised fabrics could provide smart solutions

for car interiors, resisting odours and staying cleaner for longer.

Dr Rajiv Padhye, Discipline Head, Higher Education in RMIT’s School of Fashion

and Textiles, said the researchers were working on various concepts for a number

of automotive companies. 

“These include automotive fabrics that have anti-odour and antimicrobial

properties, and anti-stain fabrics,” Dr Padhye said.

For the anti-odour research, various fragrance oils were applied to 100 per cent

polyester woven automotive fabric – the predominant fabric used in the industry –

in combination with chitosan. 

Chitosan, a natural biopolymer sourced from the structural element in the

exoskeleton of crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps, was selected because of

its filmforming ability and antimicrobial attributes. 

The study found combining chitosan with the fragrance oil produced a durable

fragrance finish in the fabric and gave it excellent antimicrobial properties. 

“We would also like to undertake research on reducing the consumption of fuel by

running car airconditioners for shorter periods of time using phase change

materials (PCM) in car designs,” Dr Padhye said.

“These materials will help to have a big impact on environmental issues.”

Based in Brunswick, RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles is a major provider of

education and training for the textiles, clothing and footwear industry, both in

Australia and internationally. 

The School’s core research focuses on digital design and technology for functional

performance textiles, with research clusters based around advanced technology,

performance and sports apparel textiles, fashion and merchandising, sustainability,

and textile design.

Projects range from intelligent protective textiles to wearable technologies and

textiles for monitoring human body performance.

For interviews: Dr Rajiv Padhye, 0417 510 853.

For general media enquiries: RMIT University Communications, Gosia

Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.

11 January, 2010

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