Assistant Professor Mourad Krifa, of the Department of Textiles and Apparel at The University of Texas at Austin, focuses on characterizing and modeling the interactions among fibers/particulate materials and textile and para-textile structures and products, on functional nanofiber and fibrous nanocomposite processing and characterization, as well as on developing new materials, structures and processes that emphasize the utilization of natural fibers in new high value-added applications.
Currently, Dr. Krifa’s group interests include expanding cotton utilization as well as developing multi-functional nanocomposite fibers for application in protective clothing and smart textiles, e.g., flexible electrically conductive fibers, inherently flame-retardant fibers, super-hydrophobic fibrous membranes.
SEM images of conductive PA6 nanocomposite sub-micron fibers manufactured using elecrospinning [Lu, et al. SAMPE 2013]. In this example, nylon (PA6) was reinforced using a branched and highly-conductive nano-filler. The nanocomposite fibers fabricated using electrospinning averaged about 500 nm in diameter and had an electrical conductivity of 0.6 S/cm.