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Issue 27, 2007
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Breathable polyurethane membranes for textile and related industries

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Abstract

This Application article briefly reviews the science behind so-called “breathable” coatings and films, designed originally for foul-weather garments. These materials form continuous polymer layers over a textile substrate, which are impermeable to liquids such as rainfall and yet transmit water vapour emitted from the body. Some bear many similarities to dense membranes used for ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis. Hydrophilic polyurethanes containing poly(ethylene oxide), PEO-PUs, form a distinct class that straddle the ill-defined boundaries between conventional macromolecular chemistry, nanotechnology, biomimetics and smart materials. The unique properties and bio-compatibility of PEO provide further opportunities for these polymers in diverse areas such as packaging, medical devices, controlled-release systems, hydrogels, electronics, and biosensors.

Graphical abstract: Breathable polyurethane membranes for textile and related industries

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Article information


Submitted
06 Mar 2007
Accepted
08 May 2007
First published
22 May 2007

J. Mater. Chem., 2007,17, 2775-2784
Article type
Application

Breathable polyurethane membranes for textile and related industries

G. R. Lomax, J. Mater. Chem., 2007, 17, 2775
DOI: 10.1039/B703447B

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