Design and Technology/Chemistry KS3 & KS4: Inventing future fabrics

Fran Scott meets Dr Manel Torres from Imperial College in London to talk about his invention Fabrican – a fabric that is sprayed from a can.

Inspired by silly string, he sprays the material onto the arms and bodies of fashion models to make new garments.

The fabric is so sterile it can also be used as a bandage.

It can be made to set hard and so could also be used as a cast for broken bones. But perhaps most amazingly, the fabric absorbs oil, and so could be used to clean up after oil tanker disasters, which can cause catastrophic environmental damage.

This clip is from the series The Imagineers.

Teacher Notes

Students could use this clip as an introduction to the topics of new and smart materials. This can be followed by a research activity and could lead on to a discussion of nanotechnology.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Design & Technology and Chemistry at KS3 and GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 3rd and 4th Level in Scotland. Appears in AQA, OCR, EDEXCEL, CCEA, WJEC, SQA.

More from The Imagineers:

Earthquake engineering
Inventing clothes inspired by nature
Inventing DIY wind turbines
Inventing smoke-free stoves
Nano-bubbles and drug delivery