Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.
Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: ETH Zürich; European Outdoor Group; Rotauf
Project no: GRS-048/17
Amount of funding: CHF 200'000
Duration: 05.2018 - 10.2019
Area of activity: Pilotprojekte, 1998 - 2018
Dr. Mario Stucki, PostDoc
Institut für Chemie- und Bioingenieurwesen
8093 Zürich (Schweiz)
- mario.stucki@chem. ethz. ch
Beeing outside, even in the rain, is fun. More and more people want to experience nature as closely as possible. Proper equipment and clothing is fundamental for enjoyable outdoor sports. One large part are functional (i.e. waterproof and breathable) membranes, applied in rain jackets, tents and shoes. Nowadays functional clothing is made from laminates. A 2D membrane is produced, a glue is added and the membrane is laminated to a woven fabric. Outdoor brands buy the rolled laminate, cut it according to their design and have it tailored into clothing. Finally, the seams are covered with a waterproof but non-breathable tape. The seam taping accounts for about 40% of the assembly costs, causes defects to about 10% of the produced clothing and leads to about 12% loss in breathable area. We propose a novel approach to omit the taping.
Instead of producing a flat area of membrane, which is forced into a 3D shape by tailoring, we apply a liquid membrane precursor and directly form a 3D membrane. Our membrane process works with hard template particles, which are mixed into a polymer-solution. This precursor solution is applied on a substrate, the solvent is removed and the template particles are removed. A fully porous polymer membrane is obtained. A natural fatty acid, introduced into the pores as a coating on the template particles, introduces waterproofing into the pores.
In this project we investigate the application of the liquid precursor on a 3D substrate. This will be the first 3D membrane in clothing. The succesful application reduces waste, cost in the assembly and greatly increases the wearers comfort.
What is special about the project?
This project covers the exploration of 3D membranes for outdoor clothing applications. The breakthrough invention would be the assembly of functional 3D membranes. A jacket could be produced and the functional membrane would be added later in its complete shape. Multiple issues of the current assembly will be omitted and clothing without using neither a glue nor a DWR (dureable water repellent) will be possible. This increases the functionality and therefore allows more activity without getting wet.
Furthermore, the specific way of assembly might allow local design and creation in the stores of the clothing brands.
We were able to transfer the process from the laboratory to relevant scales. With a Swiss coating partner, we went from A4 samples to 50 m of 60cm width to the full scale. 50 rolling meters of membrane in multiple specifications on large scale machinery in 120 cm width were produced. The resulting membranes were successfully laminated to a high end fabric. The so called 2 layer laminate is currently being tailored into the third jacket prototype. This successful scaling proved the feasibility of industrial production of our membrane process. The produced membranes have been tested in our lab and proved to be successful.
In 3D applications we tested four different modes of application: painting, spraying, dipping and printing. Additionally we have been looking at an extended range of polymers and carrier liquids to overcome the challenges of membrane and fabric interaction. The painting and the spraying showed to be the most promising solutions. The covering of seams and their testing is ongoing work in the second part of the project.
M. Stucki, W. J. Stark, Waterproof and breathable, porous membranes
M. Stucki, C. R. Kellenberger, M. Loepfe, W. J. Stark, J. Mater. Internal polymer pore functionalization through coated particle templating affords fluorine-free green functional textiles
, Chem. A 2016, 4, 15197;
M. Stucki, W. J. Stark. Stabilization of 2D Water Films in Porous Triple Layer Membranes with a Hydrophilic Core: Cooling Textiles and Passive Evaporative Room Climate Control
, Adv. Eng. Mater. 2017, n/a;
M. Stucki, M. Stöckli, W. J. Stark, Macromol. Thermoresponsive Microspheres as Smart Pore Plugs: Self Venting Clothing Membranes for Smart Outdoor Textiles
, Mater. Eng. 2018.
Persons involved in the project
Dr. Mario Stucki
Dr. Anna Beltzung, Projektmitarbeiterin
Lucile Menand, Projektmitarbeiterin
Last update to this project presentation 16.10.2019