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Chemists work on bamboo fabric development
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (UPI) -- U.S. chemists said they've solved two problems that have slowed marketplace adoption of bamboo garments and other consumer products.
Colorado State University graduate student Subhash Appidi and Associate Professor Ajoy Sarkar have discovered now to make bamboo fabric that's resistant to the sun's ultraviolet radiation and also has anti-bacterial properties.
"Bamboo is environmentally friendly," said Appidi. "Pesticides and other agents are necessary to grow most other natural fibers -- (but) there is nothing like that in bamboo production."
Despite bamboo's promise as an environmentally friendly fiber, Appidi said raw bamboo fabric allows UV radiation to reach the skin. And Appidi found untreated bamboo fabric did not live up to antimicrobial expectations.
"All cellulose fibers allow more moisture to leak in and provide more food for bacteria to eat," he said. "That's why bacteria grow more on natural fibers rather than synthetic fibers."
The researchers increased the UV-protecting abilities of the fabric by coloring bamboo cloth in a dye laced with UV absorbing chemicals.
To improve bamboo's antibacterial properties Appidi treated fabric with Tinosan -- an antibacterial agent.
The details of the research were reported Monday in New Orleans during the spring national meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International