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Tuesday, 20 October 2020
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Raw materials & technologies, Applications

Fabrication of fluorine-free, comfortable and wearable superhydrophobic fabrics

Thursday, 24 September 2020

In a new study, a durable super-hydrophobic cotton fabric was prepared by impregnation-plasma process, which is simple and environmentally friendly.

The treated cotton fabric demonstrated excellent superhydrophobicity and excellent wearing comfort. Image source: Engin_Akyurt - Pixabay (symbol image).
The treated cotton fabric demonstrated excellent superhydrophobicity and excellent wearing comfort. Image source: Engin_Akyurt - Pixabay (symbol im...

Superhydrophobic fabrics show great potential for use in functional gear; however, the introduction of toxicity and degraded wearing comfort restrict their applications.

In the new work, superhydrophobic fabrics with excellent wearing comfort have been prepared by coating of fluorine-free lauryl methacrylate (LMA) and subsequent crosslinking via radio-frequency capacitance coupled plasma (CCP).

Superhydrophobicity and excellent wearing comfort

The treated cotton fabric demonstrated excellent superhydrophobicity and excellent wearing comfort. Due to the reactions between cotton and LMA and the crosslinking of LMA under plasma treatment, the LMA-coated cotton (Cotton-g-LMA) fabric is durable enough to resist physical rubbing (1500 cycles), washing (45 cycles), ultraviolet (UV) radiation ageing (48 h) and boiling water ageing (10 h).

More importantly, the plasma treatment exerted little influence on the comfort of the cotton fabrics. Additionally, this method could be applied to various cellulose fabrics, e.g., cotton, ramie and viscose materials. According to the researchers, the facile and scalable method presented here should pave the way for the design of fluorine-free, comfortable and wearable superhydrophobic fabrics.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 146, September 2020.

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