3D printed shape-memory wool-like material eyed for textiles

3D printed wool-like materail

The 3D printed material, recycled from wool used in apparel fabrication, can provide sustainability in the development of textiles for fitness, medical, and other uses.

Researchers at Harvard University have developed a biodegradable and sustainable wool-like material with shape memory that can be 3D-printed to create novel textiles and other products.

A team at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) developed the biomaterial, which is derived from recycled materials. The materials can be 3D printed into any shape and pre-programmed with reversible shape memory.

The invention is significant not only because researchers created the material was using leftover waste from the textile industry, but it can also help this industry that produces a large amount of waste to become more sustainable.

The team, led by Kit Parker, professor of bioengineering and applied physics at SEAS, developed the material from keratin extracted from leftover Agora and Mohair wool used in manufacturing. Keratin is a fibrous protein found in hair, nails, and shells and also is used in many skin- and hair-care products.

“With this project, we have shown that not only can we recycle wool but we can build things out of the recycled wool that has never been imagined before,” Parker said in a press statement. “The implications for the sustainability of natural resources are clear.”

Researchers at Harvard University have developed a biodegradable and sustainable wool-like material with shape memory that can be 3D-printed to create novel textiles and other products.

A team at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) developed the biomaterial, which is derived from recycled materials. The materials can be 3D printed into any shape and pre-programmed with reversible shape memory.https://b8182f3df38cdc2c61a4e494f682ab6d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

The invention is significant not only because researchers created the material was using leftover waste from the textile industry, but it can also help this industry that produces a large amount of waste to become more sustainable.

The team, led by Kit Parker, professor of bioengineering and applied physics at SEAS, developed the material from keratin extracted from leftover Agora and Mohair wool used in manufacturing. Keratin is a fibrous protein found in hair, nails, and shells and also is used in many skin- and hair-care products.MOUSER SPONSORED VIDEO

Related: Novel E-Textile Powers Electronics, Protects Against Bacteria

“With this project, we have shown that not only can we recycle wool but we can build things out of the recycled wool that has never been imagined before,” Parker said in a press statement. “The implications for the sustainability of natural resources are clear.”

Shape-memory solution

The material developed by the team can be processed into fibres or 3D textiles and, like human hair, has shape memory properties which are triggered by water, explained Luca Cera, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS who worked on the research.

Shape memory means a material can have both a permanent and a temporary shape, which can be useful to developing more versatile apparel.

“Arbitrary and temporary shapes can be given to the material under specific stimuli,” Cera told Design News. “The material will keep the temporary shape once the stimuli are removed. If the stimuli are applied again, the material will remember the permanent shape and dynamically reconvert into it.”

This characteristic can be applied to the clothing industry to create one-size-fits-all clothing that can stretch or shrink to a person’s measurements, “improving the comfort of garments like brasserie or sportswear,” he said.

“Energy-absorbing devices is another application that could lead to the engineering of more comfortable protection gears,” Cera added.

Source: Design News, to read more about the 3D printed fibre, click here.

Learn more about PCIAW®, visit www.pciaw.org.

You might also enjoy