Nanobond / Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology, shortened to "nanotech", is the study of the controlling of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally nanotechnology deals with structures of the size 100 nanometers or smaller in at least one dimension, and involves developing materials or devices within that size. Nanotechnology is very diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to investigating whether we can directly control matter on the atomic scale.
Nowadays, there are more and more safety and health concerns related to nanotechnology. These almost exclusively related to nanoparticles, i.e. particles with at least two dimensions in the nanoscale range. In the case of NanoBond, we are utilising nanotechnology to develop a polymeric coating having only a nano range thickness, i.e. it consists of a few layers of the polymeric molecules used. These molecules are chemically bonded to the surface and form a closed layer. We are acting on the nanoscale without using controversial nanoparticles and, therefore, without the risk of releasing nanoparticles with time.
On the other hand, some of the recently developed nanoparticle products may have unintended consequences. Researchers have discovered that silver nanoparticles used in socks only to reduce foot odour are being released in the wash with possible negative consequences. Silver nanoparticles, which are bacteriostatic, may then destroy beneficial bacteria which are important for breaking down organic matter in waste treatment plants or farms. The name of NanoBond is referring to the engineering of an uniform thin coating of the textile surface. Classic textile finishing techniques are related to almost swamping the textile in the finishing product. In our project, we want to reduce the use of chemicals and to increase the durability by a careful engineering of the coating of the textile at the nanolevel.
1. Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanotechnology
2. S Bourbigot, Flexifunbar, Nanocomposite training session, Lille, le 23/01/2008
8. AFSSET, March 2010, Évaluation des risques liés aux nanomatériaux pour la population générale et pour l'environnement