Application of Shape Memory Polymer in Textile and Fashion Industry

Application of Shape Memory Polymer in Textile & Fashion Industry

Shubham Anil Jain
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited
Bangalore, India


Shape Memory Polymers (SMP) are materials that you can deform and then restore to their original shape by providing a stimulus, such heat or light. When not being distorted, a shape memory polymer can transition from a temporary shape that is obtained by deformation to a previous shape that is its permanent shape. To achieve this, a variety of stimuli might be used. Heat, light, infrared radiation, submersion in water, and the application of electric or magnetic fields have all been used to achieve this so far.

Shape Memory Polymer in textile
Fig: Shape Memory Polymer products

Application of Shape Memory Polymer in Textile and Fashion:
There are lots of application of shape memory polymer in textile and apparel industry. Here are discussed few major application such as follows-

1. Thermally Formable Yarn:
A new substance known as thermo-formable yarn has been created by Luxion Industries NV and Massebeuf. It is a brand-new polymer that, after being spun into a monofilament, turns bi-stable. It becomes flexible and rigid after activation. It can be woven or knitted into yarn for use in clothing. Additionally, it softens when heated for about a minute at 65°C and stiffens when it cools back down. By reintroducing the heat source, it can be reformed.

2. Deodorant Fabrics:
These unique fabrics have the capacity to release deodorizing compounds at specific temperatures. By applying a stimuli-responsive polymeric hydrogel to the textile surface, the smart fabric is created. A functional monomer, such as acrylamide, and a cross-linking agent, such as 2-(diethylamino) ethyl acrylate, are used to chemically cross-link the hydrogel to the surface of the textile. Usually, the cross-linking reaction happens during or right after the deodorant is introduced into the hydrogel. Usually, polymeric gel is added to β-cyclodextrin to further improve the controlled release characteristics of textiles treated with hydrogels. The structure of β-cyclodextrin has a hydrophobic internal chamber and a hydrophilic exterior surface.

3. Comfort Fitting Footwear:
It is disclosed a dynamic shoe last made of a shape memory polymer (SMP) material. One dynamic SMP footwear last may be repeatedly adjusted to transform into any size and shape with accuracy and dependability, significantly decreasing the total inventory of footwear lasts needed at a specific footwear manufacturing facility.

4. Wound-dressing Products:
Chitin and chitosan derivatives are frequently utilized to make wound-dressing products because of their superior antibacterial and wound-healing qualities. When used as a wound dressing, chitosan hydrogel can aid in the restoration of skin architecture. Advanced wound dressings have been created using cotton fabric and alginate filaments coated with chitosan. Different biopolymer-based hydrogel products have also been developed for wound treatment in addition to chitin/chitosan. These intelligent wound dressing materials can administer a cutting-edge drug release system in reaction to changes in pH or temperature, allowing wounds to heal more quickly.

5. Damping Fabrics:
Fabrics that absorb effect energy include SMPs because they have better damping characteristics at or around Tg. The automotive seatbelt fabric was created by Allied Signal Inc. employing SMP fibres (Securusfibres), which can efficiently increase a passenger’s safety by absorbing the kinetic energy. Shape memory poly (ethylene terephthalate)-poly (caprolactone) block copolymers are used to create the Securusfibres. According to reports, the fibre can absorb energy from the body’s forward motion, increasing passenger safety in an accident.

6. Self-adaptability of Shape:
SMP fibres are used to create self-adaptive textiles that can easily manage their structural changes in response to temperature variations in the environment. Although a fiber’s shape memory effect (SME) is typically thought of as a change in length, after being incorporated into fabrics, this SME can take on a variety of shapes, including bending, shrinkage, and thickness growth, which is dictated by the fabric structures. The clothing made from SMP fibres can be expanded appropriately to accommodate the wearer’s body. According to vertical pressure testing, SMP fiber-made clothing has a lower vertical tension stress than elastic fiber made clothing. This is due to the SMP fibres’ capacity to deform and fix into temporary shapes, which reduces the unwanted pressure to wearer.

SMPs offer the textile sector both great potential and existing prospects. SMP-enabled textiles can move or alter its shapes, creating various 3D forms in clothing and boosting its aesthetic appeal. Under the influence of the environment, window curtains or screens with SMPs can open and close with intelligence. Smart clothing can effectively regulate human body heat and moisture with a sense of comfort by changing its micro- or macrostructure in response to inputs. Protection against harsh surroundings can also be provided by altering the fabric configuration.



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