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New Nanotech Fabric Never Gets Wet 231

Posted by timothy
from the good-for-lining-lunchboxes dept.
holy_calamity writes "New Scientist reports on a simple coating for polyester that renders it unwettable — even after two months underwater it emerges dry to the touch. Water cannot attach to the new fabric thanks to nanostructured filaments and a structure that traps a constant air layer. One potential use is for low-drag swim wear."
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New Nanotech Fabric Never Gets Wet

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  • by Andr T. (1006215) <> on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:13AM (#25886171)
    Even worse, you can't wash it:

    Unlike some water-resistant coatings, it remains more-or-less intact when the fabric is rubbed vigorously, although it didn't survive an everyday washing machine cycle.

  • funny but. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:14AM (#25886197) Homepage Journal

    I was wondering if it could be used for Ships to lower their drag, or to line the inside of pipes.
    Not the fabric mind you but the coating.

  • by Sun.Jedi (1280674) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:20AM (#25886285) Journal

    But it also means, all your sweat stays INSIDE... BAD idea...

    It can't be as bad being completely painted gold []. :D

    I won't dispute any medical issues from being submerged in your own sweat -- IANAD. They did seem similar to me, however. The article did not mention if the waterproofing was one-way or both.

  • by nobodylocalhost (1343981) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:23AM (#25886321)

    i wonder if they tested this in oil. if it is both water resistant and oil resistant, it would make a very good material for table cloths, chair cover, couch cover, pillow cover, etc.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:27AM (#25886387) Homepage Journal
    What about oil, or grease or sticky substances in general?

    Maybe for normal clothing wont be good, but probably will have interesting applications in other fields.
  • by Leafheart (1120885) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:28AM (#25886399)

    There are many important places where we can use it, besides gain an edge on competitive sports (yeah, I know, money talks).

    • If the coating can be used on anything else, I say we have a pretty serious application on anything that deals with salty water.
    • Still on the topic of swimming, how good it is the thermal isolation on this things? Can it be made to better diving suits?
    • Ship sails that do not get wet.
    • Protective clothes and other fabric for people on icy\snowy places. Specially mountaineers and the guys down at Antarctica.
    • Is it only water or any liquid? I mean, can I spray alcohol and it won't stick? What about mud? Will it only be the earth particles on the cloth and the liquid will pour off?
  • Swimwear? Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Taibhsear (1286214) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:37AM (#25886541)

    Talk about setting the bar low. What about skins for submersible craft. Stealth sub tech? I find it odd that, on /. of all places, the first thought to implement badass new technology is on sports...

  • I know right? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hellfire (86129) <deviladv @ g m a i l . c om> on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @12:38PM (#25887441) Homepage

    Hell the first thing I thought of wasn't sports, but safety. Is this something you can make work clothes out of so that if you work on a boat or pier, if you fall in, can it be made so your clothes don't absorb water and make it harder for you to swim to safety. If the water doesn't get absorbed, you could put a layer of insulation underneath it to help stay warm in cold water to help defend you from hypothermia.

    But obviously the money is in selling a swimmer a $10,000 swimsuit so they can shave .02 seconds off their swim time in the hopes of beating Michael Phelps in the next olympics.

  • by fprintf (82740) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @01:50PM (#25888555) Journal

    I have worn drysuits that are made of breathable fabric. While underwater they do not let any liquids inside (except for a tiny bit of occasional seeping at the wrist, ankle and neck gaskets) and yet as soon as I come to the surface the fabric starts to breathe. Since I am a sailor, not a diver, I spend most of my time above water so the breathability is key. I haven't taken the suit diving (nor would I since you need specially designed suits) as I am pretty sure the breathability doesn't help when underwater for a long time.

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel