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Smart Textiles

SLINTEC is an industry leader in developing smart textiles using nanotechnology. We have developed a series of novel materials that can sense and react to external stimuli. These products are opening the doors to more comfortable, smart and adaptable textiles.

Advanced coating systems

SLINTEC is making remarkable breakthroughs in technology to unlock new features in fabric by inventing a flexible and thin textile coating that allows the material to manage moisture,  stay warm (self-heat) as well as control odor. A team of scientists are also focusing on deriving raw materials for this from Sri Lanka to make this technology cost-effective and sustainable.

Advanced textile finishes and colorants

With the ability to carry out fiber level surface modifications on the textiles in nanoscale, we’ve been able to produce efficient and lasting effects on the material. These textile finishing materials and methods improve functionalities such as moisture management, hydrophobicity, self-cleaning, anti-odor, textile hand-feel and so on while also increasing process efficiency and lower harmful environmental impact.

Stimuli-responsive materials

The latest rage in the textile industry is smart material that responds to external stimuli by adopting itself and making the wearer feel more comfortable, agile and easy to move in, especially in active and performance wear. SLINTEC scientists have invented materials that are responsive to photo energy, electric energy and moisture in a way that is cost effective, biocompatible as well as feasible for commercial use.

Fibers and composites

SLINTEC has dedicated time and resources to explore structure-property relations of polymer nanofibers, man-made nanofibers and fabrication and extraction of nanofibers from natural resources. With this technology, SLINTEC can apply nanofibers to various fabric surface modifications, textile coloration, and control release and nanofiber composites for wastewater treatment.

Wearable technologies

SLINTEC is currently researching on a flexible and thin textile coating that allows self-heating so that the wearer can be comfortable in a cold, outdoor setting. We’ve successfully and triumphantly been able to develop a breathable hand glove which is touch screen sensitive, using comparatively low-cost nanomaterials that are available in  Sri Lanka. We’re also looking at a wearable smart device on a T-shirt which can be used as a wifi signal router or an energy harvesting device on a sunny summer day to charge your own batteries.

Printable conductive inks

SLINTEC formulated and tested screen printable conductive inks based on conductive nanoparticles. This ink can be used as wearable sensors, actuators, super capacitors display devices, memory and energy devices. SLINTEC also tested this solution for cotton and polyester knitted structures, fabricated flexible devices using paper substrate and developed prototypes.

Electricity conductive textile composites for sensors

SLINTEC modified non-conductive cotton textiles using electricity conducting nanostructures. Using a simple heterogeneous polymerization method, electricity conducting nano fibers were in-situ grafted on cotton fabric. This could be tuned by immersing the fabric in solution having different pH values, which can be used as a sensor to measure the change in pH level. SLINTEC developed the prototype of the product and published a journal paper on the finding as well.

Electricity conductive flexible wearable heating textiles

SLINTEC developed nanomaterial-coated textiles which can be used as lightweight heating devices and operates at low voltages. These are applicable as self-heating textiles. This technology can be used over a wide dimension of textiles (cotton, nylon, polyester and nylon/spandex blend) to achieve an electric heating property with a superior thermal stability over time. A thin layer of polyurethane coating was printed on the conductive carbon black print to allow stretch ability and speed the process of washing and rubbing. SLINTEC showed proof of this concept for cotton fabrics and published a journal paper based on the finding.

Advanced textile finishes and colorants

With the ability to carry out fiber level surface modifications on the textiles in nanoscale, we’ve been able to produce efficient and lasting effects on the material. These textile finishing materials and methods improve functionalities such as moisture management, hydrophobicity, self-cleaning, anti-odor, textile hand-feel and so on while also increasing process efficiency and lower harmful environmental impact.

Low temp nanofiber based dyes

SLINTEC dyed nanofibers using conventional dyes which are then used as dyestuffs to dye textiles with the aim of lowering the dying temperature. We provided proof of concept for light shades in lab conditions.

Advanced yarn composites

SLINTEC prepared photo catalytic nanomaterial incorporated nanofibers using the electrospinning method to evaluate the functional properties of yarn composite. Next, we evaluated the nanofiber composite’s stain degradation properties and reusability. We then established a methodology to incorporate functional nanoparticles/material to the spinning yarn solution (melted or solvent base) to fabricate advanced yarn composites. Finally, we prepared and tested a nanofiber composite through electrospinning.

Stimuli responsive yarn

SLINTEC developed a material which can reduce its length by 15% when its surface temperature increases from 37 ° C to 42 ° C. Once the temperature recovers, the material will return to its original length. This helps the wearer regulate body heat by effective thermal management through fabric morphology change. SLINTEC has successfully developed a yarn sample that demonstrates two way thermal responsiveness.

Directional moisture transport with nanofibers

SLINTEC used high moisture absorbance capacity of cellulosic nanofibers to pull moisture from an inner surface of a fabric to the outer side. We showed the proof of concept for cotton fabrics and published a journal paper based on the finding.

Wicking channel integrated textiles

SLINTEC introduced capillary based wicking channels to a textile surface for controlled delivery of water and other liquids to desired locations of the body.  We fabricated the prototype on a textile and provided proof of concept.

Advanced moisture management fabrics

In activewear, a major limitation that hinders performance is the inability of the garment to evaporate moisture. SLINTEC developed textile materials enhanced with photosensitive materials that improved drying rate by 50% compared to untreated garments. The US patent was filed transferred to a major textile company in Sri Lanka.

Self-adhesive patches for fabrics

SLINTEC designed and fabricated a surface textured silicone adhesive patch to improve the surface adhesion without a glue for apparel applications. We tested the prototype device and provided the proof of concept.

Oil water separation materials

SLINTEC increased the absorption capacities by improving the surface area of the individual fibers. This material is ready to be used in the industry for similar application.

Shape memory polymer based coatings

SLINTEC created a thin film material that demonstrates a two-way shape memory effect.  This allows for better thermal regulation of the skin surface through sweat evaporation. The material once applied with the coating will change its dimension when exposed to high moisture condition or respond (change the fabric pore size) to sweat on the skin surface. A shape memory polymer material was fabricated and its shape memory activity was analyzed using a normal lab testing procedure.

Hydrophobic finishes

SLINTEC developed a methodology to achieve hydrophobic property on Cotton, Nylon and Polyester fabrics using a non-fluorocarbon based formulation. We developed it as a washing liquid to be applied to garment/fabric during the last wash cycle. This formulation can be directly used by a domestic user during their washing procedure at the last wash cycle.  SLINTEC has filed a patent in USA. The patent was sold to a third party and used to develop as a domestic use washing liquid.

Micro encapsulation for transdermal drug delivery systems

SLINTEC microencapsulated a special material in an innovative micro packaging to open up new technical textiles which can offer new functionalities. We incorporated a special medical drug agent inside a tiny biopolymer that has wall thickness less than 2 μm and with a capsule diameter of 15- 20 μm. These tiny containers are programmed to trigger any pH variation in the environment and release the active agent. The container size has allowed these capsules to incorporate to textile during yarn or fabric manufacturing process. Therefore textiles with new functionalities has added value and smartness to the end product. SLINTEC prepared samples and tested for their release properties.