Nanotechnology and nanomaterials

Small particles with major consequences!

Nanotechnology is turning into a mature technology. At present nanoparticles are being applied in thousands of products, including textiles: soil-repellent nano-impregnated textiles, odour absorbing socks and t-shirts… coating with lotus effect repelling water drops and fungi… These are only a few examples.

Worldwide, new developments and applications are being examined and numerous companies are developing products containing nanoparticles.
“Nano” - from the Greek word ‘nanos’ meaning "dwarf" - is incredibly small: 1 billionth of a metre. 1 nanometer equals a humain hair split 50,000 times! The remarkable thing about the nano-world is that it is ruled by entirely different principles than the macro-world: melting points, electric conductivity and the colours of substances are behaving in a completely different way. Nanotechnology does not only have an influence on chemical sciences but also on physical and medical sciences as well as on the world of informatics and materials.

  • Centexbel analyses the use of nanosilver for durable antimicrobial textiles in combining the efficiency and durable antimicrobial activity of silver with the specific superficial activity of nanoparticles.
  • The Centexbel scientific researchers study the Applicability of carbon nanotubes as an additive in textile products by analysing the extraordinary conductive properties and the applicability of carbon nanotubes (CNT) as an additive in both the fusion processing of polymers and in coating- and textile finishing applications.
  • Centexbel also focuses on CNT in the European research project Dephotex on the development of novel fibres with conductive properties as a substrate for flexible photovoltaic cells.
  • Nanotechnology is also present in several European projects in which Centexbel is involved, such as in WOODY using nanocellulose whiskers and fibrils and in BIOAGROTEX using nanoclays in bio-polymers.