Research in Materials and Textiles

The department has an active research program with about 20 MS students. This work is funded principally by the National Textile Center. We welcome collaborations with outside companies and organizations, especially for anything that will strengthen the local industrial base.

More information can also be found from the home pages of the individual faculty.

Click here for a list of equipment related to facilities for Advanced Composites and Textiles.

Summary of NTC Research Projects

  1. Flock Fundamentals
    We are developing a fundamental understanding of flock materials and flocking processes. (Kim) [NTC Report F97-D01]

  2. Nanofibers
    We are developing electrospinning as a way to make novel synthetic fibers with unusually small diameters ranging from 50 to 500 nm. (Rutledge, M.I.T., with UMassD) [NTC Report M98-D01]

  3. High Stress Elastic Materials
    We are developing a model for linear textile structures, such as braided ropes, to be used in applications that require high strain to failure, high toughness and elastic conditions. (Chen) [NTC Report M98-D03]

  4. Ultra-Thick Cross Section Composites
    We are examining the fundamental fiber and resin material parameters that are important in the manufacture of thick cross-section composites. (Kim) [NTC Report F98-D4]

  5. When is Domestic Apparel Manufacturing Competitive?
    A retailer or manufacturer can use our model to analyze the accuracy of their sales forecast, and determine how much Quick Response Manufacturing is cost-effective. (Warburton) [NTC Report S99-MD16]

  6. Bio-Active Fabrics
    We are developing fabrics that contain genetically engineered cells that will enable them to generate and replenish chemical coatings and chemically active components. (Fowler) [NTC Report M00-MD03]

  7. Nanocomposite Fibers
    We are developing biphasic fibers intimately blended with nanosized rigid particles, such as clay, silica, graphite and carbon nanotubes, to produce vastly enhanced fiber properties. (Kim) [NTC Report M00-MD08]

  8. Substrate-Coating Interaction in Coated Fabrics
    We are developing models to predict interactions between a deforming fiber and its coating to optimize structural configurations of coated fabrics under complex loading conditions. (Chen) [NTC Report F00-MD06]

  9. Electrostatic Spinning and Properties of Ultrafine Fibers
    We are developing the fundamental understanding and technology of electrospinning and to controllably produce <0.1 micrometer diameter electrospun fibers. (Rutledge, M.I.T., with UMassD) [NTC Report M01-MD22]

  10. Dyeable Polypropylene via Nanotechnology
    We are infusing nanoparticles, such as nanoclays modified with quaternary ammonium salt, into polypropylene fibers to create dyesites for lower cost dyeings in apparel fibers. (Fan with Univ. Nebraska) [NTC Report C01-MD20]

  11. Nano Engineered Fire Resistant Composite Fibers
    We are developing a fundamental understanding of the thermal insulation of heat and fire resistant polymeric composite fibers when embedded with nanoparticle fillers. (Patra with Auburn) [NTC Report M02-MD08]

  12. Nano Crafted Layered Optical Filaments for Diffractive Colors
    By depositing composite multilayers on fibers we can achieve iridescent colors. (Calvert with Clemson) [NTC Report M03-MD14][AATCC Conference Proceedings ][Preprint for Chem. Mater.]

  13. Electro-Static Web Formation
    We are using electrostatic field forces to form webs with positively controlled fiber orientation and minimal hook formation for improved strength, pore size and bending behavior. (Kim with NC State) [NTC Report F03-MD01]

  14. Bio-active Bandages
    We are embedding functionally-active, genetically-engineered, mammalian cells into textile fibers for such uses as bioactive bandages. (Bhowmick with Harvard) [NTC Report F03-MD15]

  15. Reducing the Bullwhip Effect
    We have solved exactly the equations in the retail apparel supply chain for inventory balance, work in process and ordering policy; no approximations are required. (Warburton with St. Joseph's Univ.) [NTC Report S03-MD13]

  16. Quantum Tunneling Nanocomposites as Sensors and Actuators in Fabric
    We are developing a fundamental understanding of how quantum tunneling nanocomposites act as sensors and actuators that respond to force, temperature and volatile organic compounds. (Patra) [NTC Report M04-MD07]

  17. Compact Fiber-Based Bioconversion/Biofiltration Systems
    We are developing the fundamental understanding to design flocked fabrics for optimal bioconversion/biofiltration activity in the detoxification of polluted water. (Kim) [NTC Report F04-MD11]

  18. Fracture Toughness of Through-Thickness Reinforced Composites
    We are developing fabric layered organic polymer engineering composite (OPEC) materials with improved interlaminar shear strength. (Rice with MIT, US Army) [NTC Report F04-MD12]