Scientists Develop New Liquid-Repellent Fabric

August 11, 2020

Campers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, rejoice! Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada have created a new kind of coating that allows fabrics to repel oil and water.

Kevin Golovin, assistant professor at UBC, and his colleagues have recently developed a new method – involving a special mixture of silicone and resins – of treating fabrics that can repel liquids. What’s more, it is environmentally friendly, too.

The research team conducted recent tests on a nylon jacket, and discovered that the silicone treatment changed the chemical properties of the jacket’s fabric to repel rapeseed and castor oils. It even repelled water and synthetic sweat.

Professor Golovin said: “Silicone-based finishes have been around for decades, but changing the surface chemistry alone is insufficient to make a fabric oil-repellent.”

According to him, the key lay in both surface chemistry and textile structure of the applied fabric together.

The research holds much potential for making clothing that is less harmful to the environment, while also keeping wearers dry.