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Improving the application and durability of surface functionalisation on textile fabrics

The purpose of the project is to investigate the surface properties of two selected textile fabrics with incorporated microcapsules using the new approach of streaming potential measurement. The knowledge of these surface properties will improve the process of micro-encapsulation.

Despite progress in the micro-encapsulation of textiles, there is still the need for a fast and reliable method capable of detecting the incorporation of microcapsules and their release during washing. Easy sample preparation and rapid availability of the measured results are the advantages of streaming potential measurement versus standard techniques (chromatography followed by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) analysis and SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) to detect the presence and activity of microcapsules). It is, therefore, an aim of this project to evaluate streaming potential as the main method for such characterisation. The approach of the proposed research would be to assess the surface properties of two selected textile fabrics with incorporated microcapsules. These fabrics are knitted polyamide and cotton. The microcapsules would be applied by bath treatment during the dyeing process. It is assumed that this modification of the solid surface phase mainly causes changes in the electro-kinetic properties and interaction with components of the liquid phase. In these cases, formation of the electrical charge determines the swelling and adsorption processes. An electric double layer exists at the interface of an electrically-charged textile fibre and an aqueous solution of electrolyte. Moving any of these two phases, solid or liquid, results in the electro-kinetic (zeta) potential. The streaming potential method enables experimental access to the zeta potential of textile fabrics. The streaming potential analysis is already well-accepted in textile research. The high sensitivity of the streaming potential method to even small changes in the solid surface properties makes it an ideal candidate for detecting the presence, and even the activity of, microcapsules captured on the fabric surface. However, a distinction between the contributions from the fabric support and the microcapsule entities is required when applying such a test for the analysis of microcapsules incorporated onto cotton/polyamide surfaces. Based on past work on interaction between fabrics and dyestuff, surfactants, or polyelectrolyte, it is reasonable to expect a successful application of the streaming potential method for the materials' analyses proposed in this project. Measurements of streaming potential would be accompanied by FTIR spectroscopy and SEM microscopy. The project consortium would consist of five partners from three countries (SLOVENIA, CROATIA and AUSTRIA). It includes two universities in the field of micro- and nanotechnology, one small to medium-sized enterprise and two large companies. The Slovenian partners of the project are the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (FKKT) of the UNIVERSITY OF MARIBOR and the BETI PLETIVA D.O.O textile factory (BETI). From CROATIA, there would be two partners involved: the Faculty of Textile Technology (TTF), UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB and the JADRAN STOCKINGS FACTORY D.D. (JADRAN). The Austrian partner is ANTON PAAR, GMBH (AP), Graz. ANTON PAAR introduced the SurPASS Elektrokinetic Analyser on the market in 2006. This enables new insight into fabric surface properties and is based on the measurement of streaming potential and streaming current. It would be involved in evaluating the applicability of the streaming potential method, and the subsequent development of standard operating procedures (SOP) for the analysis of processes relevant to the projected textile treatment as well as for the development of a 'Quality control assurance' of cotton fabrics before and after pre-treatment, using the streaming potential method. BETI's manufacturing programme is classified among the bigger Slovenian producers, and it is considered to be the biggest Slovenian producer of natural/synthetic fibre. Its production depends on the quality of the supplied raw cotton fibres, which have a strong influence on the quality of the final product (knitted fabric). Low quality cotton requires the repetition of different process steps, which increases production costs. Therefore, a series of streaming potential measurements on three selected fabrics would be performed in order to establish a correlation between the properties of the raw cotton and the quality of the knitted fabrics. Furthermore, BETI is facing increasing customer demand for the antibacterial functionalisation of textile products ('sanitized'). The application of antibacterial and auxiliary agents according to the supplier's recommendation almost doubles the manufacturing cost. A decrease in the used amounts of these chemicals would assure a competitive price for the final product. The benefit of the antibacterial effect must be maintained. JADRAN has implemented the technique of micro-encapsulation in their production of polyamide pantyhose under the trade name EFFECTO. These microcapsules contain different ingredients (e.g. moisturising cream, aloe Vera, vitamin E) for controlled-release when worn.
Acronym: 
APTEX
Project ID: 
4 178
Start date: 
01-01-2008
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
480 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Textiles Technology
Market Area: 
Textiles (synthetic and natural)

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