A more environmentally friendly process to treat textile fibers that are used in garments, carpets, curtains, and other applications has recently been reported by researchers from the University of Torino (Italy) in the journal ChemSusChem. The team, led by Guido Viscardi, describe how treating polymeric fibers with a low-temperature partially ionized gas increases the ability of the fibers to attract water, which is necessary to make them easier to process.
About 39 million tonnes of poly(ethylene terephtalate) (PET) fibers are produced for the textiles industry annually. PET fibers are used in a variety of products, but in their pristine state the fibers are not easy to work with. Currently, they are therefore treated with large volumes of water containing specific chemicals. The treatment is aimed at increasing the affinity of the fibers for water, so that they can, for example, be more easily colored. The purchase and disposal of these chemical solutions for treatment is costly, and in addition, the process consumes a lot of energy because the fibers have to be dried again afterwards.
According to the researchers, the proposed treatment with plasma, instead of the aqueous solutions, roughens the surface of the fibers and generates polar groups and radicals onto the surface. The team investigated several plasma conditions and their effects on the PET fibers. Sophisticated microscopy techniques in combination with classical droplet measurements allowed them to quantify and explain the results of the plasma treatment.
The experiments confirm that the plasma treatment has a comparable effect to the chemical treatment: the affinity for water is increased, which makes the processing of the fibers easier. This is exemplified by the image: after treatment the water droplet on the fiber surface is spread out more, because it is easier for the surface and water molecules to interact.
According to Viscardi, atmospheric-pressure glow-discharge plasma is a green and alternative method to render PET fibers hydrophilic without using wet treatments. Moreover, the possibility of working in continuous (i.e., by using a roll-to-roll system), is a very important feature for the industrialization of this process.
The method reported by the team from Torino is an effective effort towards the implementation of green chemistry: it prevents waste, reduces the reliance on the use of substances and feedstocks and consumes only a few Watts per m2.
Author: Guido Viscardi, Università degli Studi di Torini (Italy), http://biotec.campusnet.unito.it/cgi-bin/docenti.pl/Show?_id=gviscard
Title: Roll-to-Roll Atmospheric Plasma Treatment: A Green and Efficient Process to Improve the Hydrophilicity of a PET Surface
ChemSusChem, Permalink: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cssc.200900288
Guido Viscardi | ChemSusChem
A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates
20.08.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.
The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
20.08.2018 | Information Technology
20.08.2018 | Life Sciences
20.08.2018 | Information Technology