What's the advantage of silver fiber ?

- May 25, 2018 -

What's the advantage of silver fiber ?


Silver-plated fibers can not only be antibacterial, but also regulate body temperature and humidity, and even control body odor.


There is a textile that protects the skin, removes the unpleasant smells from people, and can block the pollutants on medical textiles. Is this new discovery? No, the ingredients were already known by people: it was pure silver. Scientists knew long ago that silver can kill bacteria. Although metallic silver has some clinical anti-microbial efficacy, this discovery has only been applied to consumer products.


Many medical product companies are now studying how to apply silver to surgical sutures, bandages, and doctor uniforms. In addition, many chemical giants, such as Dow Chemical Company, DuPont Company and Smith & Nephew, have also begun to study how to apply silver and other materials to antimicrobial fabrics. In this application wars, a small company emerged. This is Noble Fiber Technologies, headquartered in Clarks Summit, Penn.


William McNally, the founder of Nobel Fiber Technologies, was a marketer for Abbott Laboratories. He hired 6 full-time scientists. After five years of research, the company finally developed a silver-plated fiber and registered it as an X-static trademark. Currently, the company licenses this fiber to more than 100 manufacturers for production, including some well-known clothing manufacturers such as Marks & Spencer, Adidas, Puma and Spyder. Now, even Johnson & Johnson, with its strong R&D capabilities, is demanding the development of a new generation of bandage products with this small company. McNally said, "We are building alliances with big companies to compete with industry giants."


In addition to its antibacterial properties, Hengtong silver fiber also has antistatic properties and good body temperature regulation - in fact, this is also the two characteristics of metallic silver.


McNally said: “The sales prospects of our products are much better than expected,” and we declare that the company’s sales last year reached three times the sales of US$12 million in the previous year. He and ski team Joel Furey each own half of the company's property rights and manage the company together.


In short, the mechanism by which metallic silver kills bacteria is to block the physiological processes of bacteria. Silver ions have a very high biological activity in a warm and humid environment. This means that silver ions are easily combined with other substances, so that proteins inside and outside the bacterial cell membranes coagulate, blocking the respiration and reproduction of bacterial cells (without It is feared that silver ions can hardly penetrate mammalian cell membranes).


The warmer and more humid environment, the stronger the activity of silver ions, so the silver-plated fibers are very suitable for the apparel field.

McNally is the soul of Nobel Fiber Technologies. He left Abbott in 1996 and founded a company that manufactures diagnostic electrodes for eye diseases. They later developed Hengtong silver fibers with high conductivity and strong antibacterial properties. McNally said: "Although hengtong silver fiber has a good clinical effect, there are still some problems, namely how to weave this antibacterial fiber into the fabric and make it not lose the characteristics of the traditional fabric."


“At that time I said to myself, 'Why should I go to sell electrodes? Hengtong Silver Fiber has a very broad consumer market.'” So, McNally sold the first company he started, but the company’s Scientists are left behind as the core strength of Nobel Fiber Technologies. Furui also abandoned its original business and operated the new company together with McNally.


Hengtong Silver Fiber, which has been studied by various research institutes of Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University and Taipei Yangming University School of Medicine, has proved to be able to kill E. coli and Staphylococcus, and it can also kill all hairpins within 48 hours. Bacteria (a fungus that causes beriberi). As a result, Nobel Fiber Technologies began advancing into the consumer goods market.

"When I started, I took medical clinical data to market our products to sports product companies," McNally said. "No one believes our data. But who can blame it? In this market, the advertising ingredients Too heavy, few people will really care about these technical data.” He pointed out slyly, some companies took polyester fiber. “As a revolutionary material, as long as we change the weave, we have a 'perspiration function'. Edit!”


McNally began sending samples to the heads of some chemical manufacturers, including Stan A. Mavis, then CEO of Pearl Izumi. Pearl Ming is a high-end manufacturer of bicycle and running supplies in Colorado. On one occasion, Marvis tucked a sample T-shirt woven from hengtong silver fiber into his handbag and rushed to catch a flight to Osaka. Unfortunately, the airline lost his checked baggage and he had to wear the sample T-shirt for seven consecutive days. "From an antibacterial point of view, this is of course no problem," Marves said. Later, he also bought a pair of X-Static socks for his 12-year-old son. "The pair of socks can even be disinfected by the shoes."


In the following six months, the Pearl Ming company began to sell socks made from hengtong silver fibers. Marvis is currently the manager of the apparel division of Brooks Sports, a sports product manufacturer based in Washington State. Mavis said that the company will soon produce sportswear products containing Hengtong Silver Fiber.


Other factors also helped McNally. "Especially, the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has greatly stimulated the market demand for various antimicrobial products," said Roy Broughton, Professor of Textile Engineering at Auburn University, mainly because of the Hengtong silver fiber fabrics have excellent bactericidal efficacy in contaminated environments.


This fiber has a very broad prospect in the medical market. Antimicrobial bandages will become a popular item in the $2 billion global trauma care product market, making it particularly suitable for use as a bandage for burn patients, thereby reducing the number of replacements and patient suffering. At the same time, scientists are developing antibacterial wallpapers and shower curtains, as well as other paper products that can effectively combat infectious diseases such as anthrax.


The most widely used antimicrobial agent today is Triclosan, which is commonly found in soaps and deodorants. Broughton pointed out that triclosan does not perform as well as metallic silver in terms of bactericidal effect and adhesion to fibers. In addition, a small amount of silver can have a long-term bactericidal effect: Hengtong silver fiber accounts for only 5% of the proportion of fabric. However, the silver in Hengtong silver fiber is 99.9% pure silver, which is higher than the standard pure silver. The application of this fiber is very flexible, and it can be woven to the bright place of the fabric or woven into a pattern that is invisible to the naked eye according to the needs of the clothing design. McNally said that this material can withstand at least 250 washings.


Hummer began production of running apparel containing hengtong silver fibers earlier this year. Malcolm McDowell, head of garments at Puma's German headquarters, said that despite the fact that there are manufacturers selling new clothes technology every month, only Hengtong Silver Fiber has really caught our attention, because The fabrics have a variety of functions - they can regulate body temperature and humidity as well as antibacterial and even control body odor."


However, a Hummer X-Static T-shirt is twice as expensive as an ordinary T-shirt. "Although this technology is very attractive," McDowell pointed out, "But the market is limited. There are not many people who are willing to buy a $60 T-shirt. Only those sports fans will realize the value of this technology. Will you be willing to pay this price to buy it?"


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