Fabrics with automatic one-way water transport ability are highly desirable for applications in daily life, industry, health, and defense. However, most of the studies on one-way water transport fabrics only report the qualitative water transport results. The lack of quantitative measure makes it hard to assess the directional transport quality. Here, it is proved that a hydrophilic fabric after being electrosprayed with a thin layer of hydrophobic coating on one side shows one-way water transport ability. By using moisture management tester, the water transport property is qualitatively characterized and the effect of hydrophobic fabric layer thickness on one-way water transport feature is examined. The hydrophobic fabric layer thickness is found to play a key role in deciding the one-way transport ability. When a plain woven fabric with an overall thickness of 420 μm and average pore size of 33 μm is used as fabric substrate, a hydrophobic fabric layer thickness between 22 and 62 μm allows the treated fabric to show a one-way droplet transport feature. A one-way transport index as high as 861 can be attained. The one-way water transport is durable enough to withstand repeated washing. This novel fabric may be useful for development of “smart” textiles for various applications.
Field of Research
091205 Functional Materials 091209 Polymers and Plastics
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