SBIR Phase I: Surface Modification of Nonwovens Via Plasma Processing
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project will develop a low cost plasma treatment methodology capable of increasing adhesive strength between electrospun nanofibers and substrates, as well as change the functionality of nanofibers to develop functional textile material for various applications. The surface modification of substrates will be carried out using atmospheric pressure plasma based on inert, oxygen, and nitrogen containing gas mixtures. The choice of processing parameters and gas mixtures will be made according to the desired functional groups on treated polymer surfaces. The different processing parameters radio frequency (RF), RF power, gas flow rate, gas composition, separation of the electrodes, etc.) will be altered to correlate with the final material properties (wettability, wickability, printability, work of adhesion, surface area, etc.). The developed material can be used for a number of applications depending on the surface functionalities, including medical cloths functionalized for antimicrobial activity; apparel clothing altered for hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity; medical implants and patches capable functionalized for cell attachment; and similar niche applications. The broader impact/commercial potential from this technology could lead to textile materials which can be treated such that it shows different functionalities on opposite sides (e.g., a hydrophilic fabric coated with hydrophobic nanofibers, or vice versa.) The success of the technology will lead to further advancement in application of nanofiber and plasma technology to a wide variety of applications without
needing investment to change supporting equipments (e.g., using nanofiber based filters in current filtration equipments). The successful use of plasma technology can further remove our dependence on alternate technologies (like wet chemistry) which has damaging environmental consequences. The success of this project will improve textile material quality, advance nanofiber processing technology, allow spinning polymeric nanofiber webs on incompatible substrates, and spur growth of new markets.
Small Business Information at Submission:
ESPIN TECHNOLOGIES INC
7151 DISCOVERY DR CHATTANOOGA, TN 37416
Number of Employees: