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New generation barrier materials protecting man against harmful impacts of the environment - POIG 01.03.01-00-006/08 ENVIROTEX

Jadwiga Sójka-Ledakowicz 1Wojciech Czajkowski 1Teofil Jesionowski 2Anetta B. Walawska 1

1. Textile Research Institute (Instytut Włókiennictwa), Brzezińska 5/15, Łódź 92-103, Poland
2. Department of Chemical Technology, Poznań University of Technology, Pl. Skłodowskiej-Curie 2, Poznań 60-965, Poland


ENVIROTEX individual key project no. POIG 01.03.01.-00-006/08

Operational Programme Innovative Economy 2007-2013

Priority Axis I Research and development of modern technologies 

Measure 1.3 Support for R&D projects for entrepreneurs carried out by scientific entities

Submeasure 1.3.1 Development projects

Project duration: 28.02.2007 - 28.02.2014 

Head of the Project team: dr eng. Jadwiga Sójka-Ledakowicz, Associate Professor

Project is co-financed (85%) by European Regional Development Fund.

Project leader: Textile Research Institute (IW), Łódź


Wroclaw Technical University, Faculty of Electronics, Institute of Telecommunication, Teleinformatics and Acoustics and Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Institute of Electrical Engineering Fundamentals

Poznan University of Technology, Faculty of Chemical Technology, Institute of Chemical Technology and Engineering

Nofer's Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz

Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute, Warsaw

The Institute of Security Technology Moratex, Lodz

Main research areas:

Barrier materials protecting against electromagnetic fields

Barrier materials protecting against ultraviolet radiation

Barrier materials protecting against static electricity

Modifiers for barrier materials protecting against UV radiation

Barrier camouflage materials protecting against UV - VIS, IR and microwave

The aim of research works of the whole project is:

- technology development of new generation barrier materials based on textile carriers/substrates, protecting men against harmful impacts of the environment: electromagnetic fields (EMF), static electricity as well as ultraviolet radiation (UV) - visible, infrared and microwave,

- introduction onto local and European market newly developed materials which will enlarge the range of Polish made protective goods matching the quality and innovative character of world class products.


One of the main tasks within the project concerned protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by natural and artificial sources. The task aim was the development of textiles which could be applied as elements for work apparel protecting men in workplaces and as protective covers (blinds, screens) for museum collections, old prints, etc.

Currently people are more aware of the harmful influence of UV onto human skin. Medical tests confirm that UVB range is responsible for changes occurring in DNA structure as the result of photo-chemical processes; this might cause skin cancer. Workers performing their job in the open air (building, fishery, farming) are mostly exposed to the danger of serious skin changes due to sun rays. 

With reference to UV sources it was necessary to develop the range of protective textiles which could be applied for different UV wave-range expositions, e.g. only for UVC, UVA and UVB, UVC and UVB, or the whole UV spectrum. 

Functionalisation of textiles by nanotechnology methods, especially by introduction to textile substrate or into its surface functional nanoparticles allowed to obtain new textile UV barriers. 

A range of new absorbers of UV radiation has been developed to enhance barrier properties of textiles:

- inorganic compounds: nanoparticles of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide,

- organic compounds: non-ionic - "direct" dyestuff type (anionic or cationic) or "reactive" dyestuff type,

- compositions of organic and inorganic substances.

The studies were directed onto the development of new organic UV absorbers and UV blockers in the form of micronized particles of metal oxides (Ti, Zn) and hybrids (TiO2/SiO2, ZnO/SiO2). The surface of micro- and nano-particles of metal oxides and their hybrids was additionally modified. 

Inorganic compounds:

The achieved metal oxides were incorporated into the structure of textile fabrics applying dip coating and coating methods. A very important stage was the suitable pre-treatment of textile substrate to enhance its adhesive properties.  It has been stated that textile fabrics modified with metal oxides show:
- good barrier properties against UV radiation,                                                                      
- very high photo-oxidative activity and the inhibitory activity towards microorganisms. Barrier materials achieved by incorporation of micronized particles of TiO2 or ZnO to textile fabrics can be successfully used for elements of individual protection items and as elements of interior furnishing.

Organic compounds

Within this project the synthesis of a range of new, efficient UV absorbers was worked out. Obtained compounds display high affinity for cellulose fibres and significant molar absorption in UVB range of radiation. So called "direct type" absorbers show increased resistance to hydrolysis when compared with "reactive type" absorbers. New absorbers can be applied on fabrics the same way as direct dyes during dyeing process, or used as additives to common detergents and siftening liquids. In case of fabrics made of cellulose fibres it is adavantageous to apply absorbers which in their particle contain systems able to react with cellulose hydroxyl groups. Chemical bonding of absorber with fibres provides long-term barrier properties resistant to multiple washing cycles.

As a reslut high-tech barrier materials (UPF > 40) for special applications have been produced which are suitable for protective clothing for various profession groups (farmers, road and rail workers, food industry workers) and to protect museum collections (art and book collections, archives, etc).

Achieved absorbers - inorganic and organic, and textile fabrics modified in laboratory conditions, after detailed tests, carried out in Institute of Occupational Medicine, Have been considered as safe for potential users. They have been applied to obtain protective clothing containing cotton and bamboo viscose fibres providing high comfort of wearing.  New fabrics have been used in clothing items, i.e. shirts, caps, hand covers - a trial batch has been tested in real conditions and approved for work apparel/protective covers by the workers of:

Municipal  Transport Service (MPK) in Lodz - road and rail workers (natural UV), 
Polish Security Printing Works (artificial UV),                                                                       Food industry company (artificial UV),                                                                  
Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts Lodz (artificial and natural UV).

Project achievements / UV area

Publications: 23

Patent applications: in Poland, abroad 2                                                                        
Utility designs: 1; Industrial designs: 3; Trademark: 1

Conference presentations: ca. 20

Currently the project team enters into commercialisation procedure of:

- Technology of obtaining inorganic modifiers                                                                        
- Technology of organica UV absorbers                                                                                
- Method of obtaining UV barrier materials for elements of individual protection equipment (apparel, caps) 
- Technology of obtaining UV barrier materials for special applications (e.g. book collection covers, old prints covers etc.

Presented technologies and products have been awarded at international fairs of inventions, e.g. in Brussels (Brussels Innova), Paris (Concours Lepine), Nuremberg (IENA), Warsaw (IWIS), Seul (Women Inventors).

This publication was prepared within the key project ENVIROTEX - PO IG no. 01.03.01-00-006/08 co-financed from the funds of European Regional Development Fund within the framework of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy 2007-2013.


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Presentation: Polish Research Projects at Nano and Advanced Materials Workshop and Fair, by Anetta B. Walawska
See On-line Journal of Nano and Advanced Materials Workshop and Fair

Submitted: 2013-06-28 15:15
Revised:   2013-08-26 13:14