Nanosilver for multipurpose textiles

To develop and produce textiles with antibacterial effectiveness that will be achieved with nanosilver application.

Nanotechnology deals with science and technology at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometres (nm). Nanotechnology can be used in engineering desired textile properties, such as fabric softness, durability and breathability and also in developing advanced performance characteristics in textiles, i.e. water repellency, fire retardancy, antimicrobial resistance, etc. Since the application of nanotechnology in the textile industry started only several years ago, knowledge in this field is still quite limited. Nanosilver is one of the nanotechnology products with high utility that is particularly known for its antimicrobial properties. It can remove more than 650 bacteria, virus and fungi species as a catalyst. Silver is well known as non-toxic despite claims that it kills many different disease organisms. Some research shows that nanosilver is skin friendly and does not cause skin irritation, but some other research warns of the danger of nanosilver if its particles are smaller than 55 nm. In our project we will focus on nanotechnology in the field of textile finishing. Nanotechnology can provide high durability in these applications since nano-particles have a large surface area, volume ratio and high surface energy, thus presenting better affinity for textiles and leading to an increase in durability of the application and its function. The affinity of nanosilver for different textile substrates will be investigated. For this purpose the surface of textile materials will be functionalised with plasma. Applications of nanosilver (of different particle sizes) to different textile material (Co, PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), PA (Polyamide), Wool and PP (Polypropylene)) will also take place. Exhausting and padding processes will be used in order to achieve antibacterial resistance in the final textile products. Commercial products containing nanosilver in the form of organo-silver compounds will be used also. We will try to find the most economical and effective process for nanosilver application to textile substrates. The possibility of a simultaneous application of nanosilver and dye (reactive, vat, acid, etc.), and the influence of plasma on nanosilver application effects will be studied. Nanosilver treated textiles will be tested for: 1. nanosilver presence in fibres using ICP-AES (Intrinsically Conductive Polymer-Atomic Emission Spectrometry) analysis; 2. antibacterial effectiveness, i.e. nanosilver treated textiles will be tested for bacterial reduction according to the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) Designation: E 2149-01. This test method is designed to evaluate the resistance of non-leaching antibacterially treated specimens to the growth of microbes under dynamic contact conditions. The test method will be done for five different bacteria: Staphylococcus Aureus (ATCC 25923), Escherichia Coli (ATCC 25922), Streptococcus Faecalis (ATCC 29912), Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (ATCC 27853); 3. durability of nanosilver applications; 4. wash fastness at 40 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius according to SIST EN 20105-CO1 and SIST EN 20105-C03; 5. sweat fastness (SIST EN ISO 105-E04); 6. light fastness (SIST EN 20105-B02, SIST EN 20105-B04); 7. colour change using the Datacolour spectrophotometer; 8. mechanical and visco-elastic properties using an Instron dynamometer; 9. fastness to chemical cleaning (SIST EN ISO 105-D01). All listed tests are necessary since the properties of nanosilver treated textiles must persist. Ecological aspects of nanosilver application and its application to commercial products will be studied as well. The influence of nanosilver on human cells will be investigated. Textiles with the most effective nanosilver application will be tested. IBI KRANJ, which produces over 11 million square metres of fabric per year, is oriented towards innovations that satisfy customer needs. IBI's products are manufactured from natural and artificial fibres, treated with up to date processes and substances against bacteria, fire, slipping and shrinking. Since the commercial products for hygienic finish (antibacterial resistance) do not ensure the desired effect, IBI KRANJ is looking for new applications that would increase durability of the application and application function, i.e. antibacterial resistance. The most promising results (considering antibacterial effectiveness, cost performance, and ecological aspects) will be transferred into the IBI and MILE DRAGIC production plant. New materials with antibacterial effectiveness will be intended for fabrics for mattresses, mattress covers for incontinent people, textiles for protective and military uniforms, textiles for sports and leisure, medicine, underwear, household textiles (bed linen, towels, etc.). Keywords: nanosilver, anti-microbial, resistance.
Project ID: 
4 043
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 000 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Textiles Technology
Market Area: 
Clothing, shoes and accessories (including jewellery)

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.