Ion-mask: ademt 100x beter dan Gore-Tex...


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Chemical coat to mean drier socks


The process makes water bead on any surface
Almost any surface or fabric can be made waterproof but remain breathable thanks to a former military technology.
The process was originally developed to ensure soldiers' clothing remained impermeable to chemical weapons.
Shoe maker Hi-Tec has signed a deal with the developers of the process to use the technology to waterproof many of its shoes.
The first commercially available shoes treated with the process were shown off in London this week.
Chemical coat
The technology was funded by the Ministry of Defence and developed at its Defence Science and Technology Laboratory for making military clothing resistant to nerve agents.
The process - dubbed ion-mask by its inventors - works using a chemical based on the element fluorine. In a closed chamber, the chemical is vaporised and attaches, molecule by molecule, to all the fibres in a fabric.
The chemical makes the surface "hydrophobic" or water-repelling, so that instead of water spreading out it forms droplets on the surface.
The chemical coating covers just the fibres, rather than forming a "skin" across the whole surface, as with currently available waterproofing treatments. That means the spaces between fibres remain open and the fabric is still breathable.
"The normal way in which you'd make a shoe waterproof is put a membrane inside the shoe; Gore-Tex is a well-known example," says Ian Robins, business development director of P2i, the company marketing the process.
"That's effectively putting a plastic bag inside the shoe. No water gets inside your shoe, but at the same time that reduces the breathability both in terms of sweat and of heat escaping."

Treated materials stay cleaner too
Shoe fabric made with the ion-mask process was tested for breathability in an air-flow test, outperforming commercial waterproof fabrics such as Gore-Tex by more than a factor of 100, P2i claims.
The shoes were also subjected to flexing and wear tests, maintaining their breathable waterproof properties even after 100,000 flexes.
The fabrics are also inherently stain-resistant and easier to clean, says P2i.
Dr Robins says coating a pair of shoes using the ion-mask process requires just a tenth of a gram of the fluorine compound, and costs in the region of a few dollars - significantly less than the cost of integrating membranes like Gore-Tex into a pair of shoes.
The process can easily be applied to any garments or any material, and Dr Robins suggests that it might also become the basis for a separate after-purchase service business, like dry cleaning.
It can also be used to waterproof outdoor gear. High Street outdoor equipment retailer Millets, owned by Black's Leisure Group, will be stocking the men's Hi-Tec ion-mask shoes in 75 stores.
"This could change waterproof footwear as we know it," says Michelle Swan, a senior footwear buyer at Black's.
She said the company would keep an eye on the "revolutionary" technology and perhaps use it in other areas of its business.

Link:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7587702.stm
 
Het is dus een product gebaseerd op fluor? Als ik me niet vergis is de DWR-coating op een regenjasje (de waterafstotende laag die maakt dat de stof zich niet vol zuigt met water) ook gebaseerd op fluor, en erg duurzaam is die niet. Na een half jaar matig gebruik parelde het water niet meer op de mouwen en aan de capuchon van mijn TNF-jasje. Je kan fluorhoudende spuitbussen kopen en de coating verversen, maar die nieuwe laag houdt het nog minder lang uit. Met schoenen schuur je tegen keien en rotsen en moet je je een weg banen door stug gras. Ik vraag me af wat er dan gebeurt met de waterdichtheid.

En waterdicht na 100.000 'flexes'? Lijkt indrukwekkender dan het is. Als je stappen zet van een meter, komt dat overeen met 200 km. Veertig uur stappen op vlak of licht heuvelend terrein. Dat is mooi, maar niet indrukwekkend.
 
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