The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: September 21, 2008
Nanotechnology-based fabric blocks 98.5% of electromagnetic waves
(Nanowerk News) Istikbal, a subsidiary of leading Turkish conglomerate the Boydak Group, has developed a new fabric that blocks 98.5 percent of electromagnetic waves and heralds it as an innovative product with potential applications in both homes and industry.
The company started out with research and development at its Kayseri facilities with the aim of producing a fabric not injurious to health using nanotechnology that would provide healthier sleep for consumers. However the project yielded unexpected results, creating a fabric that can be used in a wide range of fields from construction to the defense industry. The Biocare fabric blocks electromagnetic waves from electronic appliances such as mobile phones, microphones, microwave ovens and wireless communication devices.
Istikbal Chairman Memduh Boydak said they started to use the fabric as of May 1 in mattress and quilt production for domestic and foreign markets. "The products will be exported to the United States first," he said, adding that while the fabric for consumer use would exported to the US simultaneously with the domestic Turkish release, the company preferred that Biocare in its non-consumer forms -- such as for the defense industry -- be released in Turkey first.
Boydak said the fabric was the result of a quest for innovation, noting Biocare's potential application in the production of communication cables, maternity clothes and a myriad of other products.
The executive also noted that his group was one of Turkey's leading firms and had one of the highest rates of successful patent applications. He added that they had allocated $12.5 million to R&D last year and planned to spend $15 million this year. In response to a question Boydak said they were going to use Biocare in mattresses first, as that is their field of expertise, and that development of the product for other fields would depend on the demand in those sectors. He also said the company was in talks with representatives of more than 20 sectors over Biocare.
Boydak said the high-tech fabric would be produced at their Boyteks facilities -- Turkey's second-largest mattress fabric producer, with an annual production capacity of 3.5 million square meters -- in Kayseri.
Istikbal executive board member Bekir Boydak, responsible for marketing, said the new innovation would increase their competitiveness in developed countries in particular.
Istikbal Assistant General Manager for Technical Development Mesut Yigit explained the concept behind Biocare and highlighted that increased daily usage of electronic and electrical devices such as mobile phones and electrical transformers generated non-ionized electromagnetic waves that caused many problems, from stress to sleeping disorders and headaches. "We launched studies for Biocare to protect humans from these waves, at least while they are sleeping," he said. Yigit said the studies lasted one year and that 150 people were involved in Biocare's research and development, under a YTL 1 million budget. The fabric was produced by using nano-technology fibers through a special knitting method. Yigit said no chemicals had been used in the production of the fabric, and he added it could be machine washed and ironed.
Yigit said the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) had certified that the fabric blocked 98.5 percent of waves between the frequency of 500 kilohertz and 6 gigahertz. The Germany-based Hohenstein Institute has certified that Biocare reduces bacteria by 99.95 percent.
As part of the project, 130 fabrics were produced and the final product was tested by many domestic and international institutions including the National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology (UEAKE), the TÜBITAK Bursa Test and Analysis Laboratory (BUTAL), Ege University, Fatih University, Erciyes University, the SATRA Technology Center and the European School for Industrial Mathematics (ESIM).