New anti-sweat material created

A new type of material has been created that, according to its developers, could put an end to unsightly underarm sweat patches.

Instead of simply soaking up sweat like conventional fabrics, the new material is designed to pull droplets of sweat along tiny hydrophilic threads and then expel them to the other side.

"The fabric works like human skin, forming excess sweat into droplets that drain away by themselves," said inventor Tingrui Pan, a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of California, Davis.

As well as the hydrophilic threads, the material has water-repellent properties that help to drive water down the channels.

Unlike conventional fabrics, the water-pumping effect keeps working even when the water-conducting fibres are completely saturated, because of the sustaining pressure gradient generated by the surface tension of droplets.

This means that the rest of the fabric stays completely dry and breathable.

By adjusting the pattern of water-conducting fibres and how they are stitched on each side of the fabric, the researchers can control where sweat is collected and where it drains away on the outside.

The team intentionally didn't use any fancy microfabrication techniques, which means the material is compatible with the textile manufacturing process and easy to scale up.

Laura Hopperton

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More anti-absorbant than anti-sweat.... still an interesting material

Comment Ted Bauer, 23/05/2013
All very well, but wouldn't the sweat just come out the other side and stain your clothes regardless?

Comment Simon, 21/05/2013

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