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Posted: March 18, 2009
Ion-Mask Nanotechnology Scoops Footwear Industry Innovation Award
(Nanowerk News) ion-mask™, the nanoscale surface enhancement technology originally developed by the MoD to protect soldiers against chemical attack, has won its seventh industry award.
The ultra-high liquid repellency imparted by ion-mask™ technology was honoured in the Footwear Innovation category at the 2009 Company Clothing Awards, held in London on 12 March 2009.
Judges singled out the MAGNUM Elite Force 8.0 WPi, from MAGNUM’s world-first collection of ion-mask™ protected uniform footwear, as the winner in a highly competitive and coveted award category.
ion-mask™ technology, from Oxford-based P2i, uses a highly-innovative and patented gas plasma process to permanently alter the properties of treated materials at a nanoscale level. The plasma treatment deposits a uniformly-applied, microscopically thin layer that dramatically increases water and oil repellency so that liquids bead and run off without leaving any trace. The result is a protective shield that also greatly enhances comfort and, crucially, does not affect look and feel.
Commenting on the award, Carl Francis, CEO of P2i said: “With ion-mask™’s military heritage it seems fitting to be winning an award for innovation in uniform footwear.
“As well as helping police, paramedics and medical professionals keep their feet dry, cool and blister free in challenging conditions, the nanoscale characteristics of ion-mask™ also confer protection against the risk of contamination from the numerous blood-borne pathogens that might be experienced in the course of hazardous activities.”
P2i Ltd was established in 2004 to commercialise super liquid-repellent treatments developed by the Ministry of Defence. Now on a commercial scale, P2i’s patented ion-mask™ enhancement process has been successfully applied to a wide range of products in the performance textiles, filtration and bio-consumable markets. See www.p2ilabs.com.
How ion-mask™ works
Ion-mask™ works by applying a protective layer, just nanometres thick, over the entire surface of a product by means of an ionised gas or ‘plasma’. This layer is molecularly bound to the surface and will not leach away. This transforms the surface of the product to display ultra low surface energy values down to one third that of PTFE and leading brands of water repellent treatments, displaying highly water shedding properties; whilst surfaces are enhanced, minimising liquid and vapour absorption either from the outside elements or from sweat evaporating from the foot.