Cotton is one of the most important raw materials for textile and clothing production. Compared with some synthetic polymer fibers, the main drawback of cotton fibers is its poor mechanical properties and its high flammability, and therefore it can not be used for special textiles. Cotton fabrics treated with modern flame-retardant and reinforcement finishes often can not meet rigid military specifications. In this paper, we show the functionalization of common cotton fibers with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). CNT network armors have been fabricated on the surface of cotton fibers using a simple dipping coating method. Due to the reinforcement and protection of CNTs, the cotton textiles exhibit enhanced mechanical properties, extraordinary flame retardancy, improved UV-blocking and super water repellent properties. Considering the exceptional electronic properties of CNTs, these CNTs functionalized cotton fibers will find a variety of applications in high performance fabrics and smart textiles. The method developed in this paper also provides a simple surface coating method to produce CNT-polymer hybrid materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Chemistry