Inherently Super-omniphobic Fibers and Fabrics

Q. Truong, W. Zukas, E. Welsh, P. Stenhouse, P. Brown, N. Hoffman, J. Mead, C. Barry, P. Mooney, J. Sherer, A. Panwar, B. Koene, R. Martin, R. Cohen, G. McKinley, J. Kleingartner, D. Chen
U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development & Engineering Center,
United States

Keywords: inherently super liquid repellent, superhydrophobic, superoleophobic


Work presented in this paper will introduce a process which modifies fiber geometry and its surface structure, and the resulting fabric’s weave structure with an additional structural level consisting of reentrant microtextural features that result in enhanced super liquid repellency. The weave structure modification is based on MIT's findings that omniphobic coated stainless steel meshes constructed with additional microscale texture yield higher resistance to surface wetting and liquid imbibition by impinging liquid droplets than meshes without hierarchical structure.1 The introduction of a smaller-scale, 3rd level of reentrant features on the fibers' surfaces is further motivated by experiments showing that incorporating hierarchical micro/nano-scale surface features to an omniphobic fabric leads to an increase in liquid repellency.2 Inherently super nonwetting fibers and fabrics will be introduced, and their surface and physical properties will be discussed. ACKNOWLEDGMENT: The authors would like to thank Congress for its generous funding under Congressional project 13-406, and UMass Lowell-NSRDEC/HEROES Center for the research opportunities.