Biopolymers, Biomaterials

Silica Nanorods as Additives for Enhanced Fiber Performance

Saal Bira
Mittwoch, 11.09.2024, 16:20 - 16:45 Uhr

Applied Quantum Materials Inc. has developed silica nanorods that increase the mechanical strength of fibers by providing unique anisotropic properties. The versatility of this bio-based nanomaterial can be used in a variety of polymers from textile coatings to melt-mixed additives. Specifically, our innovation focuses on the incorporation of silica nanorods into shape memory textiles for shading applications.

Nicole Jankovic (Applied Quantum Materials Inc.)
David Antoniuk (Applied Quantum Materials Inc.)
Silica is a common additive in plastics; however, due to the large particle size of the silica microparticles, large volumes of the material are required to obtain significant increases in performance. At the nanoscale, small quantities can produce large increases in polymer mechanical properties. At Applied Quantum Materials, we have developed bio-based silica nanorods that provide unique anisotropic mechanical enhancements. The silica coating of our nanorods have a high heat stability (>300°C) and the surface is also tunable, allowing for many further fiber enhancements such as UV stability, antibacterial, or conductive properties. In a current project with the German-based company TEC-KNIT CreativCenter für Technische Textilien GmbH and Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University, our activity focuses on the incorporation of our functionalized silica nanorods into thermoplastic polyurethane shape memory polymer textiles for shading applications (SmartShade). The shape memory polymer-based textile is woven into fabrics that respond to light and temperature changes. The silica nanorods provide the necessary mechanical strength increase and increased UV stability to prevent yellowing and degradation of the textile. Our presentation will delve into the modification of our silica nanorods and the unique properties of the material for not only shading applications, but other textile and polymer solutions.