31 July 2020
STEAM Around US: Antiviral Technology We Can Wear
With all of us becoming more and more aware of what we touch or what we come in contact with, it would make sense to extend technology to the fibres we wear. Fibre development is another area where technology is being used to innovate and find ways to address topics that are appealing to the buyer – because if one jacket can do it all (water-repellent, odor-repellent, antiviral, self healing, cooling, etc) you don’t need to buy five different ones! Recently, the pandemic concerns accelerated fabric developments to address our health. A Swiss textile company HeiQ came up with Viroblock technology “a process that adds an invisible film to fabrics that kills 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on contact” after scientists showed that the virus could live on fabric for up to two days. Viroblock was first used on medical masks in hospital, but now some fashion companies have also considered the production of antiviral clothing. Even if the chance of transmitting a virus via clothing may be low, the antiviral fibre adds a barrier that could benefit us by eliminating a potential transmission vector for viruses and bacteria*. It is also interesting to notice that “If antiviral clothing and accessories become the norm in the years to come, what other functionality can we expect from fashion? HeiQ’s roster of textile treatments offers a few clues: There’s HeiQ Pure, a silver-based antimicrobial technology to fight odors; HeiQ Smart Temp, a thermoregulation technology that cools the fabric as your body temperature rises; HeiQ Sun Block, which absorbs and reflects UVA and UVB rays; and HeiQ Eco Dry, a sustainable water repellant, among many others.”

HeiQ is also co-developing research with Deakin University in their Geelong office as part of the advanced manufacturing innovative hub located within the heart of Deakin’s Future Economy Precinct.

For the full article, click the link below or for more information on HeiQ’s work, click the link below.

*Tests have been conducted by HeiQ with the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne.

HeiQ (2020). A potential vector: face mask. [image] Available at: https://heiq.com/technologies/heiq-viroblock/

Full Article (Vogue)

HeiQ Viroblock