Use of ultraviolet and aluminum nanoclusters to form water repellents for textiles

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University of Oregon Researchers: Darren Johnson, Jordan Levine, Alex Rosen, Tawney Knecht

Patent Applications: 63/190,571 filed 5/19/2021; 17/749,055 filed 5/19/2022 (UO-21-031)

Method for Producing a Water-Repellant Textile.

Technology Background:  Traditional durable, water-repellent (DWR) coatings for textiles commonly use per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs). These fluorochemicals are highly toxic and non-biodegradable. This has motivated the search for alternative DWR coatings for textiles, such as aluminum oxide.

Definition of Problem: There are currently two common methods for producing water-repellent aluminum oxide coatings on textiles. The first method includes using atomic layering deposition (ALD). This process works well for coating textiles with dense aluminum oxide and also demonstrates that aluminum oxide is an excellent hydrophobic coating on textiles. The ALD process, however, is extremely energy intensive, uses toxic precursors, and is not suitable for large-scale production since only about 1 square inch of fabric can be coated at a time. The second process uses a sol-gel method. This process involves multiple steps, the addition of organic additives, and is also not suitable for large-scale production due to the need for a microwave reactor to produce the precursor sol.

Our Technology SolutionThe present inventors have discovered a process for creating water-repellent 20 textiles that uses inexpensive starting materials, can be solution processed via spray or dip coating, and is suitable for large-scale production. The method uses UV light and an aluminum precursor.  

Applications: Water-repellant textiles are in high demand for clothing, barrier protection and other uses. The present method can produce commercially-competitive quality products at scale at lower cost and using and leaving behind much less hazardous materials.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Jim Deane
University of Oregon
Darren Johnson
Alex Rosen
Tawney Knecht
Jordan Levine
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