Recommended review article about the use of plasmas in the textile industry

Plasma treatment in textile industry

Feature Article - 'Plasmas in the textile industry'

Recommended review article about the use of plasmas in the textile industry

Plasma Treatment in Textile Industry

Plasma Treatment in Textile Industry; Courtesy of Plasma Processes and Polymers; Andrea Zille,* Fernando Ribeiro Oliveira, Antonio Pedro Souto

 

Plasma technology applied to textiles is a dry, environmentally- and worker-friendly method to achieve surface alteration without modifying the bulk properties of different materials. In particular, atmospheric non-thermal plasmas are suited because most textile materials are heat sensitive polymers and applicable in a continuous processes. In the last years plasma technology has become a very active, high growth research field, assuming a great importance among all available material surface modifications in textile industry. The main objective of this review is to provide a critical update on the current state of art relating plasma technologies applied to textile industry.

Surface roughness measurement

1. Introduction

Nowadays, due to the increasing growth competition textile materials cannot be restricted to clothes, linen, tablecloth and curtains, but they also have to be regarded also as high-tech products that,in addition to the traditional clothing industry, find application in many technological fields, like construction, agriculture, automotive, aerospace and medicine. In this context, plasma technology has assumed a great importance among all available textile surface modifications processes. [1] It is a dry, environmentally- and worker-friendly method to achieve surface alteration without modifying the bulk properties of different materials. [2]

Plasma, the ‘fourth state of matter’, is an electrically neutral ionized gas (i.e. electron density is balanced by that of positive ions) and contains a significant number of electrically charged particles not bound to an atom or molecule. The free electric charges make plasma electrically conductive, internally interactive and strongly responsive to electromagnetic fields. [3] Although there are plenty in nature (it is estimated that plasmas are more than 99% of the visible universe), plasmas can also be effectively produced in laboratory and industry. For the surface modification of polymers, the power is usually obtained from an electric field. This is responsible for accelerating the electrons, which collide with atoms or molecules producing new charged particles, such as ions or atomic molecules, electrons and photons. [4]

This provides opportunity for many applications, in particular to produce microelectronics, medical cauterization, plasma TVs and also for the treatment or modification of polymer films and textile fibres. [5] Essentially, depending on the treatment conditions and processing requirements of the materials (sheets, membranes, fabrics, polymers) four main effects can be obtained with plasma treatments (Figure 1): (i) Cleaning effect. Mainly associated with changes in wettability and surface texture of the material may increase dye or finishing agents absorption; (ii) Increased microroughness. This can improve the adhesion of finishing agents, stamping and the behaviour of anti-felting finishing agents; (iii) Generation of free radicals. May induce secondary reactions such as crosslinking thus allowing graft polymerization and the reaction with oxygen or other gases to generate hydrophobic or hydrophilic surfaces; (iv) Plasma Polymerization. Allows the deposition of solid polymer with desired properties. [6–8]

 

 

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