Self repairing coating: clothes of fashion trend in the future

Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University developed a coating of positively and negatively charged polymers that look like proteins in squid ring teeth. If the coating is placed in a safe solvent environment, such as water solvent, it can be produced with simple equipment at low cost and suitable for large-scale use.

Melik C. Demirel, Professor of Engineering Science and mechanics

Clothes made from natural fibers or proteins such as wool or silk are expensive and cannot heal themselves. In order to solve the above problems, we have been looking for a way to make traditional textiles self-healing, so we propose this coating technology.

The researchers demonstrated how the coating can be cut into pieces and then heal itself together. They first add water to the dropper to bring them together, and then they do the next step on the fabric as a whole, and in the end, the fabric becomes soft and strong.

In addition, the applied coating can also be added with an appropriate amount of enzyme. In the demonstration, they used urease to break down urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide. Enzymes can be customized to meet research needs, and other enzymes can be used to match the required chemicals.

Before the enzyme reaches the skin, it can reduce the damage of toxin with the help of encapsulation enzyme with self-healing function. Like organophosphates, which are used as insecticides and herbicides, they work especially well when absorbed through the skin. For self-healing clothing and targeted enzymes, their role may be limited if exposed to these substances.

The coatings are thin and less than a micron thick, so they are hard to find in everyday wear. Although the coatings are thin, they can increase the strength of the material. This is the first time that self healing textiles have been made.

Source: national advanced functional fiber Innovation Center