Inherently Omniphobic Fibers and Fabrics

Market Overview:

This fiber modification uses channels with re-entrant features in the shape of repeating trapezoids to create highly repellent textiles that resist attraction of both water and liquid chemicals, solvents, and oils. The self-cleaning textiles market, which includes hydrophobic, oleophobic, and omniphobic materials, is expected to reach a value of $573 million by 2021. Conventional textile surface chemistries rely on chemicals like fluorocarbons, silicones, and waxes to create omniphobic materials. To reduce the need for chemical modifications, researchers from Clemson and the Natick Solider Research Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) have developed a fiber structure that allows for omniphobic fabrics to be produced. By engineering the fabric surface to have trapezoidal shape nano-features, any liquid that comes in contact with the material simply rolls off the surface. This approach eliminates the need for conventional chemical surface coatings and instead modifies the fiber geometry and structure, resulting in water, oil, and stain repellent fabrics.


Application                                                 Stage of Development

Fibers and fabrics; military                         Concept and prototype



• Demonstrates excellent fiber extrusion control, allowing for faster fiber extraction


Technical Summary

Clemson and NSRDEC researchers have developed a fiber surface architecture that allows for inherently non-wetting fabric substrates to be created without the need for chemical modifications. This process modifies fiber geometry and its surface structure by first creating a bi-component fiber. Then the water-soluble component is extracted and a third level re-entrant fiber is introduced to achieve super liquid repellency. The introduction of a third level re-entrant on the fibers' surfaces is based on the addition of a dual hierarchical micro/nano-scale surface feature to an omniphobic fabric. The new fiber geometry eliminates the need for hydrophobic or oleophobic surface chemistries and results in excellent fiber extrusion control, fast fiber extraction, and excellent liquid repellency.


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Inventors:                        Philip Brown, Quoc Truong, Nicole Hoffman



Patent Type:                    Provisional



Serial No:                         62/413,514



CURF Ref:                       2016-025

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Chris Gesswein
Director of Licensing
Clemson University Research Foundation
Philip Brown
Quoc Truong
Nicole Hoffman
Medical Device
Textiles/Fibers - Non-Optical/Medical/Other
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