Ceramic textile

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The present activity is addressed to the functionalization of textile substrates by ceramic nanostructured coating via sol-gel dip-coating. The ceramization process is developed through the following steps:

  • optimization of nano sols to be deposited;
  • optimization of deposition process parameters: pre and post treatment of substrate, dipping time, post thermal treatments for coating curing;
  • physical-chemical and functional characterization of coated samples.

The ceramization of textile substrates is addressed to the production of fabrics with improved properties where the characteristics of the ceramic phase are transferred to the textile substrate, preserving its colour, handling and traspirability.


At ISTEC has been developed a process for the ceramization of furnishing fabrics with a TiO2 based coating that resulted transparent, uniformly distributed, and stable toward washing machine and usura cycles. The ceramized samples were tested for their photocatalytic activity in process of removal of common wine, coffee and tomato stains, under sun light irradiation. The same samples were installed inside a photoreactor and tested for the degradation of NOx, resulting an instantaneous removal of polluting gas. A business project named “Tessuti Ceramizzati” has been presented to a national business plan competition, promoted by CNR and Il Sole 24 Ore, and received the first prize for the area Nord Italy, focusing an enormous interest within Italian textile market..


A.L. Costa, L. Zoli, “Improved cotton textile active for soil/pollutant removal processes”, Extended abstract proceedings of Nanotechitaly 2010, Venezia, 20-22 Ottobre, 2010


The nanosols are applied to the fabrics by.

  • dipping cotton textile samples, squeezing with the use of a padder adjusted to a suitable pressure and speed, drying and curing in a oven.

Different nanosols were tested (ones containing only TiO2 and ones prepared by mixing an equimolar mixture of TiO2 and SiO2 nanosols) The SiO2 effect should be that of improving photocatalytic performance of substrate thanks to its reflective potential and that of protecting the textile by photocatalytic attack

The nanosols are characterized in terms of particle size (DLS), and zeta potential measurements (electroacoustic technique, Acoustosizer). The last measurements indicate the charge of surface interacting with cotton surfaces and let to set the best TiO2/SiO2 mixture parameters. The morphology and qualitative elemental analysis of coated samples are determined by SEM coupled with EDS. The ICP analysis is made on coated samples and the amount of TiO2 estimated after coating and after washing machine treatments. Coffee, wine, oil tomatoes stains discoloration were evaluated after sunlight and/or in some case UV-A lamp (OSRA Ultra-vitalux, power: 3mW/cm2 ) irradiation. The visual evidence was supported by measuring the CIELab parameters L*, a*, b* (L* = 100 white, 0 black; a* = + red, − green; b* = + yellow, − blue, ΔE* = √(ΔL*) + (Δa*) + (Δb*), representing the difference between initial and final colour). Finally, usury tests ( Martindale test) are performed on textile in order to assess usury and the permanence of coating after usury.


  • Faculty of Industrial Chemistry, University of Bologna
  • Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Trieste
  • Cericol (Colorobbia s.p.a.) of Empoli (Italy)