Research ArticleMATERIALS SCIENCE

“Skin-like” fabric for personal moisture management

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Science Advances  03 Apr 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 14, eaaz0013
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0013
  • Fig. 1 Schematic illustration and fabrication process of a skin-like fabric with both directional water transport and water repellency.

    (A) Schematic demonstration of the dual properties of the skin-like fabric. (B) Combination of superhydrophobic finishing via perfluorosilane-coated TiO2 nanoparticles and selective plasma treatment via a patterned mask to create gradient wettability spot channels through the fabric thickness to endow the dual properties.

  • Fig. 2 Wetting behavior, microstructure, and chemical analysis of the superhydrophobic finished fabric after selective plasma treatment.

    (A) CAs of the spot and nonspot areas of both top and back sides of the superhydrophobic finished fabric after plasma treatment for 0 to 5 min; insets are droplet images when dripped on the back spot areas. (B) CA of a two-layer fabric assembly to prove the wettability gradient. (C) SEM morphologies of pristine cotton fabric, superhydrophobic finished fabric, and exposed top spot areas of the superhydrophobic finished fabric after selective plasma treatment for 3 and 5 min. (D) Table of atomic contents of C, O, Ti, Si, and F on different fabric surfaces from XPS survey results. *One side of the superhydrophobic finished fabric is marked as top side, and the other is marked as back side. (E) C and F relative intensities and F/C ratios across the thickness of treated fabric (from the back spot area to the top spot area) from iXPS test.

  • Fig. 3 Directional water transport property and water repellency of the superhydrophobic finished fabric after selective plasma treatment.

    (A) Still frames taken from videos when water was dripped onto an inclinedly laid (45°) plasma selectively treated superhydrophobic finished fabric on exposed top spot and unexposed back spot areas under a flow rate of 10 μl/min. (B and C) Breakthrough pressures of both top and back sides of the fabrics versus (B) different sizes (diameters) of spot areas under a flow rate of 0.4 ml/min and (C) different flow rates through a spot diameter of 1 mm. Movie credit: Lihong Lao, Cornell University.

  • Fig. 4 Directional transport property and repellency of artificial sweat liquid on the superhydrophobic finished fabric after selective plasma treatment.

    (A and B) Still frames taken from videos when sweat droplet was dripped onto (A) exposed top spot and (B) unexposed back spot areas under a flow rate of 10 μl/min. The fabrics were originally laid horizontally and then were rotated clockwise to certain inclined angles. The back spot was tested via dripping sweat liquid initially upward against the gravity. (C) Transport behavior of a first sweat droplet when being dripped upward to the back spot of the horizontally laid fabric. Movie credit: Lihong Lao, Cornell University.

  • Fig. 5 Mechanism of directional water transport.

    (A) Illustration of directional water transport through the spot channel between elliptical yarns with gradient wettability. (B) Illustration of an axisymmetric water fluid front between elliptical yarns. Here, a and b are the semi-principal axes in x and y directions, respectively; c is the half-distance between yarns; θ is the CA; ω is the eccentric anomaly; α is the expansion/contraction angle; and β is the direction angle. (C) Dependence of direction angle on the eccentric anomaly of the elliptical yarns in different flow directions. (D) Dependence of capillary pressure on the eccentric anomaly of the elliptical yarns in different flow directions. (E) Mechanical analysis of the water drop hung under the porous spot of the horizontally placed fibrous layer with increasing water supply. (F) Relationship between the size of the porous spot and the volume of the dripped water drop. (G) Mechanical analysis of the water drop attached on the porous spot of the inclined fibrous layer at an inclined angle of λ.

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