Clemson -- Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) announced today that it has given Clemson University's School of Textiles, Fiber and Polymer Science a unique fiber technology worth an estimated $38 million in intellectual property and patent rights.
Eastman's donation includes more than 100 U.S. and worldwide patents and intellectual properties related to capillary surface material (CSM) technology -- a major breakthrough in the physics of fluid transport. Eastman is also giving Clemson equipment to establish a small manufacturing lab to test and demonstrate products.
The innovative science behind the technology has the potential to make everything from oil-spill soakers to diapers more absorbent than anything currently on the market.
CSM fibers are unique because their surfaces are engineered to contain deep channels. By comparison, most other fibers -- both man-made and natural -- have essentially smooth surfaces. It's those deep channels that give the material its phenomenal absorbency.
Additional end products could include absorbent materials for use in blood-filtration systems needed in surgical operating rooms, surgical dressings, footwear and apparel, and personal health-care products. Clemson's Bhuvenesh Goswami, Alumni Distinguished Professor and internationally recognized textiles-and-fiber researcher, predicted the technology will revolutionize the use of textile materials in agricultural, home care, sports, military and other industrial uses.
"Eastman's extraordinary gift brings us one step closer to our goal of being recognized as one of the nation's top 20 public universities," said Clemson University President James F. Barker. "Clemson will benefit not only because of the revenue potential, but also because our faculty and students will have access to this technology for their own research. Ultimately, consumers will benefit as the technology moves from Eastman1s lab through our labs to the marketplace."