By Dr John Rose: Product Development Director
As someone who has worked for many years in the coatings industry, I am used to watch things dry! An early thought when I joined Technical Absorbents (TAL) was “would watching fabrics dry be more interesting than paint?” However, more importantly, how could TAL repeatedly and reproducibly replicate someone drying one of its superabsorbent fabrics on their home washing line?
Maybe to start with it would be useful to provide a little background as to why I suddenly had an interest in watching fabrics drying.
A superabsorbent by its very nature absorbs water. The best ones hang onto this and, as such, take longer to dry. When engineering new washable superabsorbent fabrics, the Product Development team at TAL is working hard to find the right balance of absorbency, while also ensuring end washable hygiene garments can be washed and re-used in good time.
To evaluate our theories, we needed to devise a simple test. I would like to say I had a Eureka moment, but if I am honest I was sat in my office on another video call - I am sure you have all been there in the last eighteen months or so - and spotted a fan! Perfect a controlled environment (TAL’s laboratory) set an air source (the fan) set distance and there you have it – a crude but effective means of assessing the potential of our new fabric designs.
What is possibly the most satisfying piece of this work is that the theories we agonised over were validated in the above tests and have since been confirmed in consumer trials. Our fabrics might take longer than usual to dry, but the absorbency performance that can be achieved as a result is worth it!