Washington, July 21 : Being strong, lightweight and fire resistant, Kevlar is considered an ideal material for protective clothing worn by firefighters, police and other emergency workers. Now researchers from University of South Dakota are planning to add another virtue to its list - germ-fighting.
Researchers Yuyu Sun and Jie Luo have developed a new method of coating Kevlar with a substance called acyclic N-Halamine, which would help fight germs. The PMAA coating is believed to have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antispore functions.
They tested it against E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida tropicalis (a fungus), MS2 virus, and Bacillus subtilis spores (to mimic anthrax).
The team found that after a short time, large amounts of microorganisms stuck to untreated fabric samples, but the coated fabrics showed little to no adherence of the germs.
Moreover, the coating is long lasting and can be reactivated if needed.
"The resultant fabric materials provided potent, durable, and rechargeable biocidal activities," Live Science quoted the researchers, as saying.
"The excellent thermal and mechanical properties of the original Kevlar fabrics were successfully retained after the coating treatment."
he findings would be reported in the Aug. 6 issue of the American Chemical Society's journal Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research.