By stitching hydrophilic (water-attracting) threads into a highly hydrophobic (water-repelling) fabric, researchers developed a new textile microfluidic platform that sucks droplets of water along the threads from one side of the fabric to expel them on the other.
The water-repellent properties of the surrounding fabric help drive water down the hydrophilic threads to complement the capillary action that conducts the water through the fabric. Because of the sustained pressure gradient generated by the surface tension of the droplets, the water is drawn through even when the threads are saturated.
The fabric not only remains completely dry but breathable as well, which should make the technology attractive to clothing manufacturers. Additionally, Xing says, “we intentionally did not use any fancy microfabrication techniques so it is compatible with the textile manufacturing process and very easy to scale up.”
Source: gizmag.comAdded: 22 May 2013